Scarlett Madison Scarlett Madison is a mom and a friend. She blogs for a living at Social News Watch but really prefers to read more than write. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

DuckDuckGo says you don’t need to sacrifice privacy for profitability

1 min read

Ads are definitely annoying, but I can accept the fact that they’re essential to the Internet, as they allow website owners to make money while still offering their visitors free content. Spying on their visitors and tracking their online activity, on the other hand, is something that I’ll never accept, no matter how many times companies like Google try to tell me that it’s necessary. DuckDuckGo couldn’t agree more, as the privacy-centric search engine has revealed that it still makes a profit without having to violate the privacy of its users. CEO Gabriel Weinberg claims that Google and the companies like it don’t need to spy on their users to make money, they choose to do it because they’re greedy and don’t care about their users. 

The CEO and founder of DuckDuckGo has revealed that the privacy-focused search engine is making a profit despite not tracking its users’ online activity and search history. Gabriel Weinberg took to YCombinator’s Hacker News to conduct an AMA (ask me anything) on 7 October, making a dig at Google and other major search engines by claiming that privacy does not need to be sacrificed for profitability. “DuckDuckGo is actually profitable. It is a myth you need to track people to make money in web search,” Weinberg said during the AMA session. “Most of the money is still made without tracking people by showing you ads based on your keyword, i.e. type in ‘car’ and get a car ad. “These ads are lucrative because people have buying intent. All that tracking is for the rest of the internet without this search intent, and that’s why you’re tracked across the internet with these same ads.” Weinberg also revealed that the traffic coming from the anonymous web browser Tor was “not significant” yet but that he would like it to be a lot more. One of the key factors to DuckDuckGo’s recent growth, according to Weinberg, was the mass surveillance revelations from former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden. Another factor cited for causing a spike in adoption rates included Google’s 2012 decision to change its privacy policy to allow tracking across all of its services.

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Scarlett Madison Scarlett Madison is a mom and a friend. She blogs for a living at Social News Watch but really prefers to read more than write. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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