DuckDuckGo Challenges Google With DontTrack.usBy: Chris Richardson - January 28, 2012
Privacy in relation to Google is a big ticket item right now, as consolidation practices and other matters concerning personal identity and online advertising practices have become popular topics.
It adds to the noticeable undercurrent of fear that, fueled largely by protests over sweeping Internet legislation, has been permeating. Perhaps fear is the wrong word. Maybe unease is better, but it’s there and it’s undeniable. Internet privacy is just one of the trending topics adding to it. With that in mind, the efforts of DuckDuckGo are admirable.
The search engine with the funny name — hey, you have to stand out — offers a non-tracking service, one that doesn’t send the keyword you searches as the referral term to the site being visited from DDG’s search results. If privacy in relation to search is important to you, DuckDuckGo is certainly not shy about offering you an alternative. Over at the nifty TLD’d donttrack.us site, they make their case with a basic-but-informative explanation of what Google does when you search and what they offer, complete with screenshots of the process in action.
The page is presented infographic-style, and it’s quite effective. An example:
It’s a little bit of a scroll monster, but because the information is important, not to mention, presented in an effective, humorous manner, the scrolling is easy to overlook. It should be noted that privacy in relation to search is not the only service DuckDuckGo offers. Their goodies page is filled with a number of useful resources, like facts, conversions, calculations and dates. Bonus, you can use them all right there, on-page. Further navigation is not necessary.
There’s also some geek credibility going on, something their zero-click info sources lists of Wikia outlets suggests:
- Wookieepedia – Darth Plagueis
- Halopedia – covenant loyalists
- RuneScape Wiki – zamorak robes
- Memory Alpha – Balok’s cube
- eWrestling Wiki – tromboner man
- Memory Beta – RIS Brunia
- The Psychology Wiki – tachistoscopes
- Star Wars Fanon Wiki – gulper serpent
- Muppet Wiki – pink monster
- Annex – sembia
- Digimon Wiki – Alphamon
- Dragon Ball Wiki – Pui Pui nice shot
- Dofus Wiki – Bherb’s Gully
- Fallout Wiki – Diesoon
- Final Fantasy Wiki – gippal
- Indiana Jones wiki – Maggie Stanforth
- The Pokemon Encyclopedia – treecko
As the world of the Internet is undergoing some strain as tech companies, governments and copyright protectors battle for “control,” one of the issues embroiled in the unease is privacy. If Google’s search behavior is just too imposing for your comfort, DuckDuckGo offers a viable, useful alternative.
It should be noted, DDG’s “We Don’t Track” service, as is the alteration to the duck in the logo, is in support of Data Privacy Day, which starts today, but continues on “in the surrounding weeks.” The goal of this movement is simple:
On January 28 and in the surrounding weeks, the United States, Canada and many other countries celebrate Data Privacy Day. Privacy is our shared responsibility. Participate in Data Privacy Day by educating students or parents, training employees, hosting an event or sponsoring DPD.
The official sponsors of the event are Intel and eBay, which is quite telling.