DuckDuckGo, a search engine focused on privacy, increased its average number of daily searches by 62% in 2020 as users seek alternatives to impede data tracking. The search engine, founded in 2008, operated nearly 23.7 billion search queries on their platform in 2020, according to their traffic page. On Jan. 11, DuckDuckGo reached its highest number of search queries in one day, with a total of 102,251,307. DuckDuckGo does not track user searches or share personal data with third-party companies. "People are coming to us because they want more privacy, and it's generally spreading through word of mouth," Kamyl Bazbaz, DuckDuckGo vice president of communications, told USA TODAY.
As it and other technology giants face questions and fines over their practices when it comes to competition and user privacy, Google is adding a new official option to its popular Chrome browser that allows users to search the web using the privacy-focused DuckDuckGo search engine rather than its own platform. The update to Chromium -- which powers Google Chrome -- axes search engines like AOL and Yahoo!, replacing them with DuckDuckGo (in France, privacy-focused search engine Qwant was also added to the list). More search-savvy users may have already known about the company's DuckDuckGo Chrome extension, which makes DuckDuckGo the default option in the Google browser and protects users from ad-tracking software found on almost every site you visit regularly. The Chrome update means you will no longer need an extension to use DuckDuckGo from your URL bar. If you're unfamiliar, DuckDuckGo is a search engine designed to protect any data generated by your search results and history.
The social network MeWe gained 2.5 million new members in the past week as social media users flock to privacy-focused apps. The social network currently has 16 million members, according to the company. In June 2020, MeWe stated it had roughly 8 million members. The ad-free platform aims to compete against traditional social media models that use data collection for targeted ads. MeWe, launched by Mark Weinstein in 2016, also vouches not to censor their users for behavior that might violate the policies of other networks, including Facebook and Twitter.
So is DuckDuckGo no good? Surprised you did not mention it. Following last week's article about privacy and surveillance capitalism, several readers wrote in about the absence of DuckDuckGo, and it was mentioned a dozen times in the comments. I have suggested this privacy-oriented search engine a few times since 2012, and I think it's worth a go. However, I'm answering Murray's earlier query along the same lines because I can use his email verbatim rather than cobbling together a joint question from multiple sources.
In an age where it seems nearly every major internet service is looking to hawk your personal data, one pro-privacy search engine is experiencing massive growth. DuckDuckGo, which bills itself as "the search engine that doesn't track you," has just hit 30 million daily searches. According to the company, this is a new daily record for the search engine. DuckDuckGo makes its traffic stats publicly available in an effort to be as transparent as possible. This new company record is about a 50% increase from its record of over 20 million searches in 2017.