Does the rise of private search engines show attitudes are changing?
Until quite recently, if you mentioned the subject of private search engines or private browsing, many peoples reaction would be ‘what have you got to hide’? A few short years on, times and attitudes have dramatically change and this is evidenced by the rise and usage of private search engines. Some people are not bothered and are perfectly happy about being open, where others are rather cautious about having their data tracked and followed and how this might build a picture of them and their interactive habits – this being a totally separate issue and nothing to do with ‘having anything to hide.’ What is so bad about being private and not wanting to share your personal habits they might ask?
With how popular search engines like Google are, we know that many people appear to be happy to use well known facilities like this, but just how far are people willing to go in giving up some kind of personal identity about theirselves?
People are still using the likes of Google as these remain very popular but some are concerned about how far their privacy is respected and moving away from the giants such as these, in favour of other search engines who are based on privacy (the likes of DuckDuckGo or Mojeek for example.) The difference with some of these platforms is they make privacy at the heart of what they offer and you are more likely to receive unbiased search results rather than these being targeted based on your ‘profile’ or what you have viewed / visited before.
What could theoretically change and what would the impact be?
There has been many ‘scandals’ of data or misuse that have made headlines this year and during recent times. Perhaps one of the biggest of 2018 was the Cambridge Analytica scandal and we are sure that stories of this scale will not be the last either.
It would appear that not much is likely to change anytime soon, because these companies rely on search engines operating in the way they do and gathering information and data about people. So that leaves the question what can be done? Further regulation is one step that really gets to the centre of this and makes protecting consumers privacy at the heart of it. We have already seen the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulations in 2018 and some have argued that this needs to go much further and address some of the opinions and concerns that have been addressed in this posting.
Perhaps like anything the best thing individuals can do in the meantime if they are worried is to vote with their fingers (i.e. use a private platform.) That will send a message to the big giants that enough is enough and things need to change in order for peoples privacy to be respected.
In the meantime, if you are worried about privacy we advise you to do research and look at how you can protect yourself further. Trouble is, will this be tracked and monitored aswell?
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