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Tuesday
Dec022014

On Becoming Less Trackable

"no track", "no bubble" serach engine duckduckgo.comPrivacy is quality of life. I got used to Google products and have great respect for the company but it's time to draw the line. If Google compares my behavior patterns with millions of other users they are theoretically able to find out more about me than I know about myself: e.g. life expectancy or likelihood of getting cancer based on my lifestyle choices, the odds of my marriage based on email keywords or frequency to my wife, my mood based on adjectives I use, my career prospects based on my contact list. I decided to unplug the search part entirely and transition all my searches to the "no-track, no bubble" search engine DuckDuckGo.com. Switching search engines is not that easy since common browsers are heavily pre-set on standard search providers. I did it by a) switching from Chrome to Firefox and then b) changing the search and URL window defaults in Firefox to DuckDuckGo. After four weeks I can say that the experiment worked: search results are pretty much as useful as Google's. I know my seraches are not stored, not merged with other data and not carried over to the next website. After all, it turns out we are less addicted to Google than we may expect. I feel a little more free and secure now.

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