Use of ‘anonymous’ search engine rockets in wake of US spying scandal
A search engine that does not track its users’ search habits has skyrocketed in popularity in the wake of revelations about US spy agencies’ requests for data from technology companies.
DuckDuckGo, a service that does not does not keep a record of searches or tailor them to what its users have looked for in the past, said it took the company four years to get one million searches a day, but this had tripled to three million in the eight days after the PRISM surveillance scandal broke.
A tweet from the company said: “It took 1445 days to get 1M searches, 483 days to get 2M searches, and then just 8 days to pass 3M searches.”
The number is still minute compared to Google, which handles 3.3 billion searches a day.
DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg told CNBC: “We always knew people didn’t want to be tracked,” adding, “but what hadn’t happened was reporting on the private alternatives and so it’s no surprise that people are making a choice to switch to things that that will give them great results and also have real privacy.”
DuckDuckGo does not create a “profile” of searches like Google, one of the internet companies that has asked a special US court handling national security investigations for permission to publish the number of government requests for data it has received.