Jan 212011
 
 January 21, 2011  Business, Online, Surveillance

Joseph N. DiStefano reports:

DuckDuckGo.com, the stripped-down, Google-alternative Internet search site that Valley Forge resident Gabriel Weinberg started in 2008, is looking more like a business.

[…]

What’s wrong with Google? Many users don’t realize how the search terms they put into that popular search engine are collected at the sites they visit, Weinberg said in an interview. “While there’s millions of websites that run ads, there’s only a few ad networks. All those sites are running the same third-party code that can aggregate all your searches. So the ad network can [collect] all your searches” – and learn a lot you might want to keep private. DuckDuckGo promises to redirect queries, track-free.

Google spokesman Rob Shilkin responded with a prepared statement: “It’s unfortunate that DuckDuckGo is preying on people’s fears and offering incomplete information in order to garner attention.”

Shilkin called “inaccurate” a claim on Weinberg’s propaganda page, donttrack.us, that Google might enable drug companies to learn about herpes sufferers who looked up information on the disease. He said Google offers users the tools to block search-tracking, if that is what they wish to do.

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