Internet and privacy are two words that are mostly considered oxymorons in that you cannot have both but one at a time! It concerns that as time goes by, the internet collects personal data. Unfortunately, this information is organized to get some good work done; when it falls into the wrong hands, many users are at a loss.
Today everyone is literary at the edge of their seat, contemplating how you can browse the internet without being tracked or their information getting collected for a malicious purpose. So is there a way to work around these two significant drawbacks?
The light at the end of the tunnel is this:
Yes, there is a possible way, and that way is the usage of a private search engine.
Search engines collect your data
Looking into the leading search engines, Google and Bing, the security breach is that they do collect our data from the personal search history and tailor adverts according to what we continuously search for. This is mainly the source of income they have, and so the better and precise the data, the more they make. The initial concept of data collection was meant for good, but once hackers learned about this, you stand to lose more than just your search engine histories. Information such as credit and debit card details and essential passwords may also be acquired.
This data collection has been a sore topic, so most secure search engines guarantee that the data collected cannot be traced back to you and only used in the featuring of adverts. It is a safe and easy way to reassure clients, but how sure can you be?
How do private search engines work?
We all reckon that the leading search engines are extensive in information, and that brings us to our question; is DuckDuckGo, StartPage, and other private search engines genuinely independent? The answer is no. These private search engines are integrated with the major leading ones. DuckDuckGo, for instance, is combined with Bing such that when you search for a topic, you get all the results from Bing. And so, in a way, you are using a 'secure' version of Bing.
So are they really private, if not independent?
In hindsight, the promise of not collecting your data brings some peace of mind, but there is a bit of concern since they are merely sending your searches to Bing and showing you their results. So are they really secure?
Well, here is a breakdown:
You search a topic say on DuckDuckGo, and your search goes directly to Bing, for example. Everything you get as a result is available on Bing, publicly or privately. As you use this platforms, you still get bombarded with adverts, and to your surprise, it may be related to your searches or interests. The venue still has to make money, so the advertisements are something you have to live with.
The initial plan of platforms like DuckDuckGo was to become independent, having their resources to protect your data, but they have fallen short, and it has forced them to source information from third-party, public search engines.
But all hope is not gone, next is the solution.
Data Collection is coming to an end
Data collection is coming to a halt as it is a violation of the client's trust. Search engines like Google in the future will have restricted access to users' logs, and Bing won't be able to acquire data from users on Google or another search engine. DuckDuckGo and the like will also not be allowed to send your data to third-parties like Bing. It is a revolution that is already in play.
How? Here is how:
Now, there are browser extensions to monitor web traffic keeping it in check. As of January 2021, companies that rely on data collected will have limited use of this data. Ahref is one such company since it depends entirely on the Google Query log database.
With the current changes, the so-called 'private search engines' that have been hiding in the shadow of the leading search engines will have no choice but to either evolve or fade away. With the selling point of 'private browsing,' they will have to do precisely that with the lack of tracking and data collection. If they do so, they will have offered the masses the promised privilege to browse without fear.
The turning point: A Synthetic Search Engine
Things are taking a complete 180-turn as data collection is nearing extinction. Many argue that this was the backbone of successful search engines; Artificial Intelligence is the new way to go and completely do away with data collection for once. Since adverts are the primary income, why not use AI to generate fully synthetic data? The great news is that AI-generated data has proven as effective as using real user's data. The data is processed and analyzed from publicly available internet sources.
The good thing about synthesized data is that it abides by all data protection laws like the GDPR and the CCPA, among others. The information is in no way connected to one particular person, but a collective through the publicly available resources like online forums, webpages, and blogs. This is information that is readily available for public consumption.
What are we talking about?
The future is here with us, and that future of surfing the internet without fear is by using secure search engines, the likes of Usearch.com. With this and more upcoming sites that offer a truly secure solution, we will definitely get to a time to use the internet without worrying about data collection. If you did not know, now you do.