Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Feb 2014 16:43 UTC
Internet & Networking

When Gabriel Weinberg launched a search engine in 2008, plenty of people thought he was insane. How could DuckDuckGo, a tiny, Philadelphia-based startup, go up against Google? One way, he wagered, was by respecting user privacy. Six years later, we're living in the post-Snowden era, and the idea doesn't seem so crazy.

In fact, DuckDuckGo is exploding.

I wonder what the future holds for DuckDuckGo. Will there be a point where people leave Google Search completely, instead of just casting curious glances at DDG?

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Privacy vs convenience
by WorknMan on Thu 20th Feb 2014 20:16 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I'm not sure to what degree this would matter for most people. For 98% of things I search for, I really don't care who knows. 'OMFG, Google might actually know I just searched for reviews about a TV I was interested in. Oh, THE HORROR!!!' In some cases, it's actually useful for the search engine to know something about you, such as your geographical location, so it can tailor searches for you in that regard.

For those searches you REALLY want to be private, maybe DDG would come in handy.

Edited 2014-02-20 20:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Privacy vs convenience
by M.Onty on Thu 20th Feb 2014 20:59 in reply to "Privacy vs convenience"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

Bubbling (as they call it when a search engine uses information about the searcher to tailor the results) is not just a concern for the excessively cautious or paranoid. It also has implications for the nature of the searcher's interaction with knowledge and can impede some kinds of work.

In the first case by causing an echo chamber that fails to reflect the full diversity of options, opinions and observations available within the field in question. In the second case by causing one to assume that certain things have greater or lesser importance than they do on average because one's own view has been distorted.

An example of the latter would be when I had a dogsbody job researching possible partners for a holiday firm. If I didn't use proxies I would have got more and more results from the people I was trying to research, rather than getting an idea of what their usual ranking is.

Bubbling distorts our view of the Internet, so I use DDG.

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[2]: Privacy vs convenience
by WorknMan on Thu 20th Feb 2014 21:52 in reply to "RE: Privacy vs convenience"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Bubbling (as they call it when a search engine uses information about the searcher to tailor the results) is not just a concern for the excessively cautious or paranoid. It also has implications for the nature of the searcher's interaction with knowledge and can impede some kinds of work.


True, but in that regard, it's not necessarily a privacy concern. I wouldn't suggest using Google (at least not without a VPN or something) that you wanted to be private. But for most of us, how many searches do we perform that we wouldn't want our own mothers knowing about? Somethings are worth being paranoid about. Others are not.

Reply Parent Score: 3