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Like Spies, Search Engines Keep Files on You. For Privacy, Try Startpage.com

Your privacy is under attack! Major search engines capture your IP address and use tracking cookies to make a record of your search terms, then they store that information in a giant database.

If you're like me, you love surfing the web and doing research. Perhaps you are a budding entrepreneur who doesn't want your idea stolen by giants who have the resources to get to market before you. I like my privacy. I bet you do too. I love Google but don't like my information put into a database. If you have privacy concerns try Startpage.com

Startpage Protects Your Privacy!

Startpage, and its sister search engine Ixquick, are the only third-party certified search engines in the world that do not record your IP address or track your searches.

Your privacy is under attack! Every time you use a regular search engine, your search data is recorded. Major search engines capture your IP address and use tracking cookies to make a record of your search terms, the time of your visit, and the links you choose – then they store that information in a giant database.

Those searches reveal a shocking amount of personal information about you, such as your interests, family circumstances, political leanings, medical conditions and more. This information is modern-day gold for marketers, government officials, hackers and criminals – all of whom would love to get their hands on your private search data.

Why should you worry?

Major search engines have quietly amassed the largest database of personal information on individuals ever collected. Unfortunately, this data can all too easily fall into the wrong hands. Consider the following story:

In August 2006, the online world was jarred when AOL accidentally released three months’ worth of aggregated search data from 650,000 of its users, publishing all the details in an online database.

That database is still searchable. It is an absolute eye-opener to see the potential for privacy nightmares.

  • Enter a query and find who searched for it
  • Then click on a “User ID” to find what else this user searched for

Shocked? You are not alone.
When we search, we share our most private thoughts with our computers.
These private thoughts should be safe.

Startpage’s position:

  • You have a right to privacy.
  • Your search data should never fall into the wrong hands.
  • The only real solution is quickly deleting your data or not storing them to begin with.
  • Since January 2009, we do not record our users’ IP addresses anymore.
  • We are the first and only search engine to do so.
  • Our initiative is receiving an overwhelmingly positive response!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Panglonymous March 19, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Erik, you should put a poll up with this piece asking something like, "Be honest, do you care? Yes | No " To paraphrase the alpha tech boyz: privacy is quaint, already gone, and we should all just "get over it."
Erik Dreyer-Goldman March 19, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Deep in the Utah desert, the National Security Agency is building a massive surveillance center. Yottabytes of data including yours will be stored there. They will intercept and store phone calls, emails, Google search, etc. Just ask James Bamford.
Santayana March 19, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Good intel
Panglonymous March 19, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Erik, I don't doubt it. I've assumed this has been going on for many many years. I care. What percentage of the US population do you think cares enough to inconvenience themselves? My guess is that it's way below one percent.
Santayana March 19, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Same % as would work to challenge status quo policies.

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