Ixquick, a Dutch search engine, has become, in January 2009, the first to function without retaining the user IP address in order to increase user privacy protections. While search engines such as Google and Yahoo keep data for nine months, respective three months, Ixquick has until now deleted it after 48 hours. It now says that it can operate without the data altogether.
Ixquick’s position about privacy:
- You have a right to privacy.
- Your search data should never fall into the wrong hands.
- The only real solution is quickly deleting your data or not storing them, to begin with.
- In June 2006 we started to delete our users’ privacy data within 48 hrs.
- As of January 2009, we do not even record our users’ IP addresses at all anymore.
Why do search engines store your data?
Every time you use a search engine (except Ixquick), your search data is stored. Your IP address, your search keys, user ID cookies, length of your visits, etc. get stored in a database.
Most of the time all this info is used to increase the effectiveness of advertising and other commercial services, but it can also be used to construct identity profiles. Government officials, hackers, and even criminals have an interest in getting their hands on your personal search data. And if the information exists they will sooner or later get to it and this way they will get to you!
What do you think about search engine privacy?
Do you feel that storing data about your searches is a threat to you? What do you think about Ixquick? Have you used it? What about other private search engines?