Christian Stewart is a privacy researcher and reporter. Follow his latest coverage on YouTube.
Private search engines aren't just for people wearing tinfoil hats anymore. Over the years these search engines have improved their search results and added new features to make the experience better for their users.
I think people often overlook just how much data companies like Google and Facebook collect about their users. These companies store information about your location, your interests, and your demographics. These companies have to devote tons of resources to protecting this information The companies that embrace privacy and don't collect and store massive amounts of user-data don't have to worry about keeping that data secure.
User-data can be an extremely valuable business asset, but it also creates risks for the businesses that store it. If a company fails to properly protect users' information and that information gets into the wrong hands the businesses involved can suffer severe harm to their reputation.
Every time a major corporation suffers from a high-profile hack or data breach, privacy tools benefit because people see a concrete example of why privacy matters. Unless corporations decide to completely overhaul their data practices hacks and breaches will continue to happen on a regular basis. If privacy tools can collect just a minor percentage of these companies' market shares, these businesses could develop impressive user bases.
DuckDuckGo: DuckDuckGo is the most popular private search engine and sees over 50 million daily searches. This search engine is focused on not tracking its users and minimizing the targeted ads that they see after using their search engine. Another benefit of DuckDuckGo, and private search engines in general, is more neutral and less biased search results.
Read More: DuckDuckGo Features That Make It Unique
Ghostpeek: Ghostpeek is a new private search engine that is focused on delivering a better "private" search experience to its users. Ghostpeek uses local encryption so that your search terms don't appear in your browser history or in your URL. Some search engines have continuously added tons of ads within their search results to maximize their revenue. Ghostpeek, on the other hand, is focused on user-experience and isn't loaded with ads.
Qwant: Qwant is a search engine based in France, which falls under GDPR and other European privacy laws. According to Qwant's About page, it delivers "the best available results to your queries and never tries to guess who you are or what you are doing." It doesn't collect information about you when you search on Qwant.
Also read: The History of Private Search Engines
Which privacy tools do you use? What are your recommendations?