Your privacy is under attack!
Those searches reveal a shocking amount of personal information about you, such as your interests, family circumstances, political leanings, medical conditions, and more. This information is modern-day gold for marketers, government officials, black-hat hackers and criminals - all of whom would love to get their hands on your private search data.
Why should you worry?
In August 2006, the online world was jarred when AOL accidentally released three months' worth of aggregated search data from 650,000 of its users, publishing all the details in an online database.
That database is still searchable. It is an absolute eye-opener to see the potential for privacy nightmares.
|—> Enter a query and find who searched for it|
—> Then click on a "User ID" to find what else this user searched for
When we search, we share our most private thoughts with our computers.
These private thoughts should be safe.
|You have a right to privacy.|
|Your search data should never fall into the wrong hands.|
|The only real solution is quickly deleting your data or not storing them to begin with.|
|Since January 2009 we do not record our users' IP addresses anymore.|
|We are the first and only search engine to do so.|
|Our initiative is receiving an overwhelmingly positive response!|
Startpage/Ixquick Warranties:European Privacy Seal
On July 14th 2008 Ixquick received the first European Privacy Seal from European Data Protection Supervisor Mr. Peter Hustinx. The Seal officially confirms the privacy promises we make to our users. It makes Ixquick the first and only EU-approved search engine. Both EU Commissioner Viviane Reding and Dr.Thilo Weichert, German Privacy Commissioner complemented Ixquick on its privacy achievements.
You can find the press release here.
This Authority supervises the fair and lawful use and security of your personal data, to ensure your privacy today and in the future.
What's our privacyscore?
Startpage/Ixquick's Privacy Q&A:
We feel the right to privacy is a very important right, worth defending.
These were the principles that guided Startpage's decision in June 2006 when we started our privacy initiative. Our determination to offer our users the best possible privacy search engine has only increased ever since. That’s why we are pleased we were able to stop recording IP addresses altogether in January 2009.
Cookies: Startpage abolished the use of Unique ID cookies as of June 6th, 2006.
Startpage only uses one anonymous cookie that is used to remember the search preferences you saved for your next visit. For those who prefer a "cookie-free" operation Startpage offers the URL-generator.
So the IP address is unique to the specific computer or router, but may change from day to day. The User ID is unique for one specific search engine or website.
The combination of the both delivers extensive possibilities to track users' behavior, especially for internet conglomerates with multiple services where the users information can be combined.
Tracking within a site is typically done with the aim of producing usage statistics, while tracking across sites with so-called third party cookies, is typically done by advertising companies to produce anonymous user profiles. These profiles are then used to target advertising (deciding which advertising image to show) based on the user's profile. But advertising companies are just one of many groups that may take an interest in user profiles. Startpage deletes both the IP address and the User ID cookie. Startpage does not record IP addresses or use Unique ID cookies.
Each time these sponsored results are clicked upon Startpage receives a minimal fee from the advertiser.
That protection applies 100% to your SEARCHES. However, when you CLICK on a search result, whether you got it from us, Bing, Yahoo, or any other search engine, you LEAVE the search engine that gave you the link and go SOMEWHERE ELSE.
Wherever you go, once you leave Startpage, you can be seen, recorded, and tracked by the website you are going to, plus by all of its advertising and marketing and tracking partners and affiliates. To avoid this, you can use the Startpage Proxy which allows you to visit third-party websites THROUGH STARTPAGE without anyone, including the website and its partners, seeing you.
To learn more about the Startpage proxy and how it works, please watch our short instructional video here:
So while you can continue to get the search results you have grown accustomed to, you don't have to worry about your privacy anymore!
Startpage's competitors are generally very large and often publicly owned search engines.Such a large share of these company's valuations is based on their ability to mine data from their users, they cannot afford to give the practice up. Commercial pressures to increase effectiveness of advertising and other commercial services, and the profit opportunities that arise by combining data collected across multiple services will ultimately drive these companies to make even greater impositions on your privacy. Even though lately announcements have been made by Yahoo, Google and MSN to lower data retention time, their true intentions can be questioned. The way in which IP addresses are made “anonymous” and the ability to continue to combine search data through the use of ID cookies and logins make these promises far less positive than they seem. Read more here.
Startpage will wholeheartedly continue on its mission to offer you great search results in the best possible privacy!