DuckDuckGo’s Fight Against Google Just Getting Started
After seven intense years of waging a war against Google, the Paoli-based search engine startup DuckDuckGo would be forgiven for being run-down and at the point of exhaustion. But the reality is “quite the opposite,” Founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg said in an ALLTOPSTARTUPS interview. “In so many ways, it feels like we’re just getting started and being able to do some of things we always wanted to do, like DuckDuckHack, in earnest — our open-source and private approach to instant answers.”
Weinberg is actually energized by the daunting task.
“I’m really attracted to data, algorithms, answers and the challenge of getting people to switch search engines,” he said.
To do that, he built DuckDuckGo to protect users’ privacy while still providing top-quality search results.
“When people say they want personalized results, they generally mean localized results (like local weather and restaurants), which we can do without tracking people,” Weinberg said in the article. “We’ve seen no compelling evidence that further personalization really helps and some decent evidence that it hurts.”
And when Edward Snowden brought privacy concerns to the forefront in 2013, DuckDuckGo was at the right place at the right time. The next step, he advocated, is legal limits on digital tracking technology.
“It is a myth that search engines need to track you to make money on web search. When you type in a search, we can show an ad just based on that search term. For example, if you type in “car,” we show a car ad. That doesn’t involve tracking because it is based on the keyword and not the person,” Weinberg explained. “… We already put legal limits on financial, medical, military, transportation, telecommunications and agriculture technology. Why not online tracking? With digital technology making its way into more parts of our lives, and with our data quickly becoming more and more valuable, of course there should be some limits on online tracking!”
Read more on Weinberg’s thoughts about startups, improving search and protecting privacy on ALLTOPSTARTUPS here, and check out previous VISTA Today coverage of DuckDuckGo’s ascent here.
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