French Wash Out Google. Recruit Qwant

December 10, 2018

Last year, we took note when the privacy-centric search engine Qwant, a French and German company, declared its intention to take on Google for internet search dominance. Now, The Sun reports, “France Declares War on Google as Military Replaces Search Engine with ‘Untrackable’ Qwant.” Apparently, officials feel their nation’s very (digital) independence is at risk. Reporter Felix Allen writes:

“[Member of Parliament] Florian Bachelier said: ‘We have to set the example. Security and digital sovereignty are at stake here, which is anything but an issue only for geeks.’ He chairs the National Assembly’s cybersecurity and digital sovereignty taskforce, which was set up in April to protect firms from hackers and end France’s reliance on foreign tech giants. Officials and politicians are said to be very concerned with the dominance of US and Chinese firms and the concept of ‘digital sovereignty,’ including a country’s control over its citizens data, reports Wired. 2013 report warned France and the EU risked becoming ‘digital colonies’ in the wake of the Snowden revelations on NSA spying.”

French officials are alarmed by the tendency for U.S.-based tech companies to play fast and loose with users’ personal information. President Macron is working to put laws into place that will prevent breaches like the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal from impacting French citizens. Or, at least, penalize the responsible companies when they do.

Based in Paris, Qwant was founded on May Day, 2011. After two years of R&D, the search engine itself was launched in 2013. Keep in mind that Qwant’s roots reach back even farther in time to the Pertimm system.

Cynthia Murrell, December 10, 2018

Comments

One Response to “French Wash Out Google. Recruit Qwant”

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