Friday 28 January 2011

Privacy May Guide Search Engines Success In Future

The privacy issues are assuming importance these days but would they guide the success or failure of technology products like search engines. Google is undoubtedly the best search engine world wide. However, it has its own share of privacy and anonymity problems.

While Google and Yahoo does not take use of privacy and anonymity tools like the onion router (TOR) very positively, Bing on the other hand seems to be performing reasonably well with TOR.

This race of providing better, private and more secure web services to users has reached a new level. Browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer (IE), etc are taking active steps to ensure that users’ information is not leaked to advertisers who target them with search specific advertisements.

A digital profiling is happening presently on the basis of information sent through HTTP referrers. By checking the referrer, the new webpage can see where the request originated. By using privacy tools like TOR, one can prevent this digital profiling.

The recently launched search engine DuckDuckGo (DDG) claims that it does not collect personal information of its users. This is a great improvement over existing search engines that do collect users’ information. In fact, DDG has many fantastic privacy features that are worth exploring. The best seems to be positive support for TOR for doing anonymous web searches.

If privacy is the main criteria for searches, DDG is a better option than existing search engines. However, if a wide variety of results is the requirement, Google would still dominate the field.