Duck Duck Go

raptalia

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Anyone using Duck Duck Go instead of Google as a search engine? If so what are your thoughts?

I have set DDG as my default in Firefox for a trial period to see how it goes. First impressions are that it not as powerful as Google but what is ? The big deal is it is suppose to encrypt and not track like Google. I have noticed a lot of ambush advertising when using Google as a default search engine. Ads keep popping up that coincidentally relate to recent searches and my personal situation. They are often age related and often location related and will have the content from a recent search. e.g if I go to the Century Batteries website and look for pricing on a car battery I will get ads from a multitude of retailers wanting to sell me a car battery. This info can only have come from Google searches. If I happen to type in that I want a battery to suit a Toyota Rav4 I will get ads for Toyota Rav 4 popping up in various applications.

I thought DDG might stop this invasion of privacy. Anyone tried DDG?
 

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The Passenger

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I can't really speak about DDG as only used it in bits and pieces. It's definitely not as powerful as Google, but unfortunately the monolith has the world by the balls when it comes to searching (and many other things).

Do you use any extensions in your chrome browser?

If you wish to use Google but still keep the advertisements away from you I would suggest using extensions like Adblock, Adblock plus and - most importantly - Ghostery.

Also within your Chrome settings - chrome://settings/content/cookies - ensure you enabled Block Third Party Cookies. You can take this a step further - and I do - by enabling the setting Keep local data only until you quit your browser. The downside of the latter is you need to re-login to everything after closing your browser, because it does remove the cookies and trackers that pervade your system when you browser (The extensions and blocking third party cookies should do this, but I do find some sneak through the cracks).

Important to note, these steps don't protect your personal data from use by Google. Google will still do what it does from a backend perspective, and that will all be collated into their various databases. It doesn't completely remove all ads - for instance there is often a couple at that top of a google search marked ad but they are easier enough to see and ignore.

All the above makes for a much smoother, less ad-based, browsing experience.
 

raptalia

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Thanks for that Passenger. I have not been using Chrome but I am sure there are add ons for Firefox as well, I will investigate.

On the back of the record $5 billion fine handed out to Facebook by the US Federal Trade Commission, the ACCC has just handed down it's Report into Digital Platforms in which it takes aim at Facebook and Google over data sharing and the risk to personal security. It appears that Governments around the Globe are becoming increasingly alarmed about data sharing among multinationals and the effect it has on business competition, national security and lastly on individuals.

That $5 billion fine reads big but it is a drop in ocean for Facebook as Facebook's share value rose by $6 billion one day after the fine was announced. It looks like the masses do not care who sees their data until of course it is shared with a hostile body and used against them.

From the ACCC website,

On 4 December 2017, the then Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, directed the ACCC to conduct an inquiry into digital platforms. The inquiry looked at the effect that digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms have on competition in media and advertising services markets. In particular, the inquiry looked at the impact of digital platforms on the supply of news and journalistic content and the implications of this for media content creators, advertisers and consumers.

On 10 December 2018, the ACCC released its preliminary report for the inquiry.

The final report was published on 26 July 2019 following the report being provided to the Treasurer.


The above blurb is more about corporate practice rather than individual privacy but it is none the less reason for concern. Some of the unsolicited advertising I was receiving was related to my age, the State I live in, the type of car I drive, where I had planned to go for my next holiday etc. etc. Obviously Google had tracked and passed my on line searches on to third parties and all for a price I expect.

Those of us who place value on our data should take comfort in the fact that the ACCC reports recommends heavy fines for a new raft of cyber offences and the implementation of a Digital Ombudsman to whom complaints about tech giants can be lodged.
 
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Bigjobss

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I wasn't overly impressed with DDG.
Have you tried Brave browser? It blocks ads and trackers, I have used it for 90% of my browsing for the last year and I prefer it to Chrome.
The only issue is that it can block too much, such as Tweets imbedded in this site

Come to think of it I can't really remember the last time I saw and ad
 

Toump Ass

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Anyone using Duck Duck Go instead of Google as a search engine? If so what are your thoughts?

I have set DDG as my default in Firefox for a trial period to see how it goes. First impressions are that it not as powerful as Google but what is ? The big deal is it is suppose to encrypt and not track like Google. I have noticed a lot of ambush advertising when using Google as a default search engine. Ads keep popping up that coincidentally relate to recent searches and my personal situation. They are often age related and often location related and will have the content from a recent search. e.g if I go to the Century Batteries website and look for pricing on a car battery I will get ads from a multitude of retailers wanting to sell me a car battery. This info can only have come from Google searches. If I happen to type in that I want a battery to suit a Toyota Rav4 I will get ads for Toyota Rav 4 popping up in various applications.
I hate that invasion of privacy shit, but I got to say it's amazing how good those algorithms are. I would get ads based on what my partner searches for, or stuff related to things I'd looked up on my phone, stuff that I've looked up on the work computer... I felt like links I'd clicked on that friends sent me would end up being sold to me too. Even with adblock+ and all that.

Anyway I first used DDG about a year ago but it was slow and the results were shit. I tried it again recently because I wanted to find downloads of some very old (public domain) movies and google was useless, and found DDG was awesome for it though. I started using it a lot more and it's heaps better than I remember it.

For everyday stuff it's nowhere near as sophisticated as google but it's heaps better than it was a year ago IMO so even if you decide it's not for you it might be wort giving it a crack again later on :)
 

raptalia

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Yeah, not as powerful as Google but nothing much else is. I am quite pleased and have set it as my default search engine. I still use Google for specific searches such as maps but for every thing else DDG has done the job thus far.
 

Gigantic

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I hate that invasion of privacy s**t, but I got to say it's amazing how good those algorithms are. I would get ads based on what my partner searches for, or stuff related to things I'd looked up on my phone, stuff that I've looked up on the work computer... I felt like links I'd clicked on that friends sent me would end up being sold to me too. Even with adblock+ and all that.

Anyway I first used DDG about a year ago but it was slow and the results were s**t. I tried it again recently because I wanted to find downloads of some very old (public domain) movies and google was useless, and found DDG was awesome for it though. I started using it a lot more and it's heaps better than I remember it.

For everyday stuff it's nowhere near as sophisticated as google but it's heaps better than it was a year ago IMO so even if you decide it's not for you it might be wort giving it a crack again later on :)
I work in the consulting space and the projects proposed but that don't actually get the sign-offs for implementation by risk committees and legal departments by some companies is very scary - and that's only the stuff they are happy for consultants to see!

The algorithms on their own are awesome and the applications of them can be good in many instances but it's hard to know who we can trust in today's society.
 

Toump Ass

Norm Smith Medallist
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I work in the consulting space and the projects proposed but that don't actually get the sign-offs for implementation by risk committees and legal departments by some companies is very scary - and that's only the stuff they are happy for consultants to see!

The algorithms on their own are awesome and the applications of them can be good in many instances but it's hard to know who we can trust in today's society.
Haha, yeah I work as a consultant too.

Which reminds me: we partnered with a super popular app recently that triggered an in-store activation, so the customer would do something at a certain location and the app would then trigger a voucher for a free meal or whatever.

The cool bit was we didn't need the customer to agree to any nasty shit because they'd already done that via the terms and conditions of the super popular app. This app then gave our client all the data they had on the customer, including all the location stuff so we could find out how often the customer returned to the store etc.

God knows who else the app sold this data to but it's pretty easy to see how detailed a profile a company can come up with.
 

Gigantic

Norm Smith Medallist
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Haha, yeah I work as a consultant too.

Which reminds me: we partnered with a super popular app recently that triggered an in-store activation, so the customer would do something at a certain location and the app would then trigger a voucher for a free meal or whatever.

The cool bit was we didn't need the customer to agree to any nasty s**t because they'd already done that via the terms and conditions of the super popular app. This app then gave our client all the data they had on the customer, including all the location stuff so we could find out how often the customer returned to the store etc.

God knows who else the app sold this data to but it's pretty easy to see how detailed a profile a company can come up with.
Reminds me of this: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/29/londoners-wi-fi-security-herod-clause
 

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