An interview with DuckDuckGo CEO on the future of anonymous searching

Gabriel Weinberg tells us why he thinks people are turning away from Google

Following the revelations of the PRISM scandal, use of anonymous search engine DuckDuckGo has rocketed as internet users begin to reevaluate their privacy online. We spoke with DuckDuckGo's CEO Gabriel Weinberg on why he thinks people are turning away from Google:

JV: Why do you think people are turning to DuckDuckGo? What differentiates you from the competition?

GW: DuckDuckGo is a general search engine like the big guys except we do not track you. In other words, when you search on DuckDuckGo you are truly anonymous. Our privacy policy is readable and explains how this works and why you should care:

In addition to privacy, we focus on an overall better search experience with less clutter, less spam, less intrusive advertising and of course better results. We believe that for most searches there is a site out there that already has a great answer for you, e.g. IMDB for movies or Yelp for restaurants. We try to get that information from that best source and put it above the links so you can get instant answers.

DuckDuckGo gets its results from over one hundred sources, including DuckDuckBot (our own crawler), crowd-sourced sites (like Wikipedia, which are stored in our own index), Yahoo! (through BOSS), WolframAlpha, Bing, and Yandex.

People are being drawn to us because of our strong privacy policy. They are staying because they're getting a better search experience as explained above.

JV: Do you think DuckDuckGo will continue to grow in popularity or is the publics’ interest in privacy faddish?

GW: We think that people generally do not want to be tracked and if they have choices to switch to private alternatives where they can get both a great experience and great privacy then they will make the switch.

Since the story about NSA/Prism broke we have seen a 69% growth in direct searches. There are also other sites highlighting alternatives such as http://prism-break.org/ & http://fixtracking.com/ (by DuckDuckGo)


JV: How important are the benefits of search personalization to users?

Search personalization is useful in some cases but there is one big disadvantage that companies doing search personalization do not mention. That is being trapped in a filter bubble (http://dontbubble.us/) and seeing only points of view that one agrees with, and less and less opposing viewpoints.

Additionally, we can do the aspects that people generally want when they talk about personalization without tracking or bubbling you. For example, when you type in weather we show your local weather in instant answer form.

JV: What are your plans to expand the business?

Our next milestone is to hit 1% of the search market share. We are about halfway towards that goal.

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Langley James : IT Support, Bradford £16k - £22k

    £16000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Langley James : IT Support, Bradford £16...

    Langley James : IT Sales Executive;Borehamwood;£40k(neg) uncapped comm£100k+OTE

    £40000 per annum + £100k+ OTE: Langley James : IT Sales Executive; connectivit...

    Recruitment Genius: DevOps Engineer

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A DevOps Engineer is required t...

    Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, West Yorkshire c£25k

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, ...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital