Duck duck go not as private as you think?

This is something to keep in the back of you mind, i think. They’ve got agreements with Microsoft, but can’t say what’s in them, because of a contract? That doesn’t sound good to me. I’m going to have a look at alternatives.


It seems to only be an issue with the Duckduckgo browser app on iOS and Android. So I think we’re safe with “Fennec F-Droid” or “Bromite” with uBlock Origin from f-droid when setting ddg as the search engine. I may be wrong though.

It shouldn’t have to be an issue. I don’t understand why they should have tot make secret agreements in the first place. But as long as there are ways around it, there’s hope, i guess


Try out startpage

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I agree. It’s disappointing, especially since they promote their browser as privacy respecting.

… or SearXNG; and here are some instances hosted by others:

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I’ve changed my default search engine to now. DDG is not my favorite any longer.

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Yep, i just switched to startpage too. Let’s see what this has to offer. I really liked ddg, but this has gone too far. It’s about credibility for me i guess…

More info here on alternatives.

I’ve been running Brave Search for ~2 months and it’s been very good. I rarely feel compelled to fall back to qwant or google but when I do I usually don’t get what I need there either.

You just have to remember to turn on “Anonymous usage metrics” here. I blow my cookies away every session which makes that a pain but I made a browser extension that does it automatically on browser launch.

What is the reason not to use Startpage? I think about switching from SearXNG to Startpage. The only problem I see here is that it uses Google search results only, right? Meaning it is still dependent on the algorithm of Google, how it weights the content and what content gets removed and such. But at least the privacy part seem to be fine, if we can believe the policy: Our Privacy Policy . Remember, we believed in DuckDuckGo too.

I think you said it there, my problem is with Google results being mixed in which introduces bias. I can only speculate how much bias but when a company has something like Google Jigsaw talking about high-impact interventions for protecting civil society from toxic language and everything up from there it’s a bit hard to imagine Google isn’t man handling their search results.

Brave Search has Google results turned off by default and as far as I can tell they only give you results from their own indexing.

They acquired Tailcat, a privacy-focused search engine company which became the foundation for Brave Search.

“Tailcat is an open search engine built on top of a completely independent index that does not collect IP addresses or use personally identifiable information to improve search results. It was developed by the team formerly responsible for the privacy search and browser products at Cliqz, a holding of Hubert Burda Media.”

Brave Acquires Search Engine Tailcat

Brave Search looks like a good candidate too. I was reading through some privacy policy and noticed that it also have the bangs. I miss the bangs from DDG, its a really cool feature. If it only had a fallback option that I can choose from or even mix multiple search engine results, such as google, qwant, yahoo and bing. I love this in SearXNG based search engines. Every link shows where the results are from and I don’t want to miss this multi search engine search anymore:

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Didn’t know Brave search had “bangs”.
Something to look into.

Presearch is pretty good.

If DDG piggybacks on Bing and Startpage on Google aren’t we still encouraging the privacy non-respecting giants? Question for another thread i suppose.

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Startpage is owned by System1, a marketing company. Who knows what that really means in the long run.

I came to the conclusion that there is no real privacy respecting search engine. There only exists a lesser evil.

I guess we will always jump from one to another with no real benefit or change. They give us all enough reasons to use one of them and at the same time not to do so.

I never was a fan of how the Brave browser works and I will not use their search engine therefor, e.g.


What about Open Source search engines, that are not controlled by a single company and instances can be installed by many people? You could host your own and it would be 100% privacy respecting search engine.

Unfortunately, I think this is the case. I dislike how this was hidden, though. Otherwise I trusted DDG up to this point.

I will look into Brave Search, but didn’t their browser/crypto have some privacy issues too?

That’s SearxNG isn’t it? I might look into it too, but I did love the !bangs on DDG.

Yes, SearXNG. I also miss the !bangs and is the reason why I was looking into Brave. But as you say, the crypto stuff left me with bad “impressions” (but no concrete problem on the search engine) and I avoided it until now. The problem with SearXNG is, that I use a public instance and not a self hosted one, and have to trust it. The installation was a bit too involved, so now using a public instance is just half baked idea of privacy search engine.

Full disclosure, I mainline Brave Browser but only after a crypto exorcism that fully evacuates the BAT blockchain from the body. At least as far as it affects my user experience.

Brave wants to disrupt traditional advertising and donation though they’ve often been surreptitious in how they’ve gone about it doing things like… replacing the ads of competitors inline and telling people they can send BAT donations to people who don’t even have an account. It’s probably worth a deep dive just to collect all the surreptitious stuff in one place, I know TuxDigital has done a good job bringing it up over time. Brave’s made adjustments but these are things that shouldn’t have even occurred to them.

So why do I run Brave Browser?

As far as I can tell they’re strongly opposed to sociopolitical meddling and consider privacy and security among their chief concerns. I’ve never seen anything to the contrary so i’m willing to make the trade-off till there’s a better option.

Of course that sounds great, in an ideal world, but personally I cannot host my own and for most people it is not feasible. Then those open source engines have to use either their own search algorithm or have to pull again from the other big players.

That is why Signal exists e.g. as a messenger. It gives normal people the power to communicate with e2ee by default without thinking about it. I am sure they will not use Matrix, unfortunately.

I don’t understand the connection (not technical, but logical) to Signal / Matrix, related to search engines.