Search engine firm Startpage, and its E.U. brand, Ixquick, has released a new proxy service that allows Internet users to surf the web in privacy.
The proxy lets users browse websites anonymously, without sharing any private, personally identifiable information to the websites they view.
When users conduct a search on Startpage they will see a clickable "proxy" option below each search result. When this option is selected, Startpage acts as a go-between to retrieve the page and display it in a privacy- protected window.
The proxy offers complete anonymity, since the user never makes direct contact with the third-party website. The user's IP address is invisible to the viewed website. In addition, the website cannot see or place cookies on the user's browser.
"People are more concerned about online data retention policies than ever before," said CEO Robert Beens.
"We wanted to offer them a useful tool and this proxy is a logical extension of our services. A search engine is a starting point for people to visit other pages. Now our users can take the privacy they get with Startpage to the next step, and go privately to the sites they have found as well. This proxy completes the total search privacy picture."
Startpage says it does not record IP addresses, make a record of users' searches, or record details about proxy usage.