GOOGLE HAS ADDED privacy-first search engine DuckDuckGo as an option for users of its market-leading Chrome browser.
There was no official announcement, but with the launch of Chrome 73, it now appears in the drop-down of default search engines.
Of course, DuckDuckGo has always been an option for Chrome users, but previously they have had to add it manually. Now it sits alongside such venerable names you never use as Bing (yes, it's still a thing) and Yahoo (Bing in a dress).
DuckDuckGo is increasing in popularity and clocked in a record 60 million searches in a month last year. It's small potatoes compared to Google, but it demonstrates the desire of more and more users to cover their porn searches.
DuckDuckGo doesn't keep logs and your history can be wiped with a single button click. The company already offers its own browser for Android.
The move's significance shouldn't be underestimated. Google, like all tech giants, is under more and more pressure to explain why it is harvesting quite so much personal data (money - duh) and this move could be read as an acknowledgement that not everyone likes it, and an alternative must be found.
Users who opt to switch to DuckDuckGo will cost Google money - pure and simple - and that's relevant because it makes a mockery of the loss-leader, free nature of the browser; nothing is truly free in this world, there's no such thing as a free browser.
Google must be hoping that the "showing willing" aspect will be enough, and will be offset by the continuing popularity of the browser which holds two-thirds of the market.
French users will see DuckDuckGo's Gallic rival Qwant added as a default as well.
It's thought that the commit was made in December last year at almost exactly the same time as Google finally released the Duck.com domain it had been ‘cybersquatting' for years, and presumably ended some barney that we weren't previously privy to.
DuckDuckGo had previously criticised Google for collecting data in Chrome even when logged out of a Google account.
DuckDuckGo already has a partnership with Apple for a privacy-led mapping service. μ
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