Gabriel Weinberg, CEO & Founder at DuckDuckGo.com, wrote an article about the company’s business model, i.e. how the search engine can make money without invading your privacy.
« It’s actually a big myth that search engines need to track your personal search history to make money or deliver quality search results. Almost all of the money search engines make (including Google) is based on the keywords you type in, without knowing anything about you, including your search history or the seemingly endless amounts of additional data points they have collected about registered and non-registered users alike. »
« Alarmingly, Google now deploys hidden trackers on 76% of websites across the web to monitor your behavior and Facebook has hidden trackers on about 25% of websites, according to the Princeton Web Transparency & Accountability Project. It is likely that Google and/or Facebook are watching you on most sites you visit, in addition to tracking you when using their products. »
« The operative question is, though, is all of this tracking necessary to make substantial profits? Is this the only way to run a profitable digital consumer focused service company? Not in my opinion. The fact is, these companies would still be wildly profitable if, for example, they dropped all of these hidden trackers across the web and limited the amount of data they keep to only what is most necessary. »
« It is a choice to squeeze every last ounce of profit at the expense of privacy, democracy and society. A choice they don’t have to make. Without all this tracking, I’m confident they would still be among the most profitable companies in the world, and we’d all be better off. »