You Can Be Tracked at DuckDuckGo

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I have a buddy who proved to his  IT colleagues that DuckDuckGo does not protect your privacy at any level that would inspire confidence. One of the guys he worked with was having a flame war with his ex wife over the custody of their two children.

The guy posted nasty, defamatory comments at various online bulletin boards, etc. His intent was to win his kids back by making her look like an unfit mother. He used DuckDuckGo typing in search strings that included the phrase non legal ways to get your kids back from your wife. (or words to that effect)

He had apparently tried legal ways to regain partial custody of his girl and boy that resulted only in expensive attorney fees. My IT buddy would not tell me how he knew all of this, but said that the cache of DuckDuckGo search strings is not hard to access if you work there or know somebody who works there. As far as I can tell hackers have not had any luck compromising the security walls there, but its the insiders that have access to things that any DuckDuckGo user would be quite alarmed to know about.

I know the above sounds a little fuzzy, but here is what I do know. The guy who was having the custody battle had his ISP subpoenaed and he was prosecuted for libel or defamation of character(maybe both).  He was also charge with something like endangering the caregiver of his children.(Can not remember the legal terminology for this) He says that he only used DuckDuckGo(He NEVER used Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc) to search for ways to get his kid back knowing that the nature of his searches could potentially incriminate.

I am relived to know that no search engine is above the law and that true web surfing anonymity is illusive if not impossible. Also, I would like to know more about how user privacy is protected by avoiding a filter bubble of personalized search results?
I wish their founder, Gabriel Weinberg, would make that more transparent, but I understand he is in a very proprietary business.

Every Search Engine Keeps track of your Search Strings
Every Search Engine Keeps track of your Search Strings
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1 comment on “You Can Be Tracked at DuckDuckGoAdd yours →

  1. As the writer of the post implies, you would expect any search engine to cooperate with authorities in the event of criminal activity.

    Take a look at the following review(maybe shill would be better characterization) of DuckDuckGo:

    Best search engine right now, as of this writing. I’m not sure how they manage to do such a great job of providing fair results not cluttered with ads (is their bandwidth free, do they not have bills to pay?), but if they manage to stay that way I will continue to use them daily. I used to use other search engine, one beginning with a letter G, but not anymore. I would out that the G engine prefers whoever pays them the most, so you end up with not fair results as non-paying websites get pushed to the bottom. There is no such discrimination with duckduckgo.com I just hope they stay that way. I love how more results get fetched when you scroll to the end of the page, there’s no need to click anything.

    Max R wrote this declaring that first page search results are not based on search string, but on how much advertiser pays Google. Google still has 3/4 of the world market share for a reason. When you search via Google, you retrieve relevant and useful results with well formatted ads that will likely be of some assistance. If one is searching for something, then it is likely they want to be hooked up with an entity that provides that product or service. Google remains the best buyer/seller matchmaker in the history of our 5 billion year old planet!!

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