Duck Duck Go in the News
May 27, 2010
“Privacy Protecting Search Engine Challenges Google” reminded me about the Duck Duck Go search engine. A quick check of my Overflight files revealed that the company’s name popped up in a comment to Beyond Search article called “The Addled Goose’s KMWorld Lecture” which appeared in late 2008. The “official” date for the company’s inception is 2009. Duck Duck Go has found an audience for its message of search privacy. According to the MIT Technology Review article:
[Duck Duck go] is a search engine that is profoundly–some might say radically–private. Unlike Google, it doesn’t build a user profile for you, store your IP address, or collect any other information that could ever tie a particular search to you. That makes it impossible, for example, for a future more-evil version of Weinberg (or his company, were someone to buy it) to exploit that data by selling it to advertisers without your permission (as Digg, MySpace, Facebook, and others have done). Or for the company to accidentally make search data public so that someone can connect whole strings of searches to the individuals who conducted them (as was done with AOL data in 2006). Or for a more intrusive U.S. or foreign government to successfully subpoena your search history.
You can read Duck Duck Go’s original write up about its approach in “Duck Duck Go Searches Are Now Externally Anonymous”. I found some interesting information in the write up; for example, a clever use of Amazon’s S3 service.
We ran some test queries and found the results useful. The brains behind the search service is an MIT grad, Gabriel Weinberg. Unlike Google, he is approachable and has an interest in startups. If you are not familiar with Duck Duck Go, spend some time running queries on the system. We did and we were impressed.
Stephen E Arnold, May 27, 2010