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DuckDuckGo search engine founder touts privacy for users

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His search engine didn’t start out as the private alternative to Google, but that’s certainly what it has become.

Five years ago, DuckDuckGo.com founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg just wanted to create a better search engine. So he launched DuckDuckGo and as the site picked up steam Weinberg started investigating his competition’s privacy practices.

“I started looking into the search privacy issue because I saw that Google was handing more and more data over to government and that people were starting to get followed around the Internet because of that,” Weinberg tells Seattle’s Morning News on KIRO Radio.

Google saves your searches, but Weinberg says it’s a myth that they use that search history to target ads at you while you’re on Google.com.

Over 99 percent of Google’s advertising, according to Weinberg, comes from the keywords you type in as you search. Then, the data saved is used on Google’s other websites, like Gmail or YouTube. Or, in some of these cases as we’re learning, it’s getting in the hands of the National Security Agency.

“It felt creepy that the search engine could have all of that [information].”

On DuckDuckGo, Weinberg says your searches are end-to-end anonymous. Your searches are encrypted by default, and the website “throws away” your IP address.

“You’re anonymous all the way to us.”

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