Move over Google and enter DuckDuckGo…

DuckDuckGo Logo
I think it was around 1998 when I first discovered Google on a trip to San Francisco, and I’ve been using it faithfully since. I tried Bing a few years ago but it didn’t really deliver much improvement. When I originally heard about people using DuckDuckGo, I was skeptical I’d see much improvement… I have to say I’ve been proven wrong, the search is great and includes a lot of little tricks that even one-up Google. One of the big considerations for me was the DuckDuckGo privacy policy and commitment not to track me. Its pretty simple, “DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information.”

Over the past few years I’ve become more skeptical of Google’s privacy policy. In 2009 they purchased Doubleclick and their tracking Cookies spanned DoubleClick and Adsense. In 2012, Google merged all of its Privacy policies into a single and fairly aggressive policy, with it assuming ownership of more of my online content. Their Privacy policy
today states “cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your Google Account.” It’s the Google Account identifier that I really have a hard time with. At this point, my cookie is no longer an anonymous identifier. The other instance that really turned me off Google was the launch of the Google Drive, where Google’s license agreement gives them a license to all the content you put on the Drive. Contrasted to Dropbox’s policy this is plain evil…

Google has also started a stock split/dividend recently that is designed to give its founders greater control over the company. The stock split creates a new non-voting class of stock ownership and effectively decreases the value/ownership of Google stock, while allowing the founders the retain control as they issue more stock for employees and
acquisitions. Not good, maybe not entirely evil…

So after 10 years of using Google services, I’m actively looking for alternatives. I think Google Mail and Google Analytics are probably going to be the hardest to replace but we’ll see…

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