Google and user privacy aren’t exactly synonymous with each other. In fact, the search giant’s revenue stream depends on it gathering as much information about our web habits as possible and selling it all to advertisers. This means it is probably second only to Facebook in the big tech assault on our privacy. Thankfully, this latest move from Google makes it easier for us to control the data we create when we browse the internet.
Google has added the private search engine DuckDuckGo to the default search options on Google Chrome
The DuckDuckGo search engine has been around since 2008 and was founded to provide a private alternative to internet search. Since then, it has been growing steadily and in October, it saw over 30 million searches for the month. Just this January, the private search engine struck a deal with Apple to provide map support for its anonymous location searches.
The addition of DuckDuckGo to Google Chrome’s default search engine options is a big deal and was first spotted by the guys at Tech Crunch. They report that the option will now be available in 60 countries around the world. Chrome users in “Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Bolivia, Brazil, Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Germany, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, India, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Moldova, Macedonia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Paraguay, Romania, Serbia, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Switzerland, U.K., Uruguay, U.S. and Venezuela,” will now be able to have DuckDuckGo perform all the searches they make on Google Chrome.
These changes have been spotted in the Chromium 73 stable release, which has been getting pushed out over the last few days. According to a software engineer writing in the GitHub instance for the release, the addition of DuckDuckGo is based on usage statistics alone, with the privacy-focused search engine tending to be in the top four search engines in all of the countries listed above. It could just be a coincidence then that the introduction of comes at a time when Google is facing heavy scrutiny on antitrust and privacy violations.
DuckDuckGo has long been available for default searches on Google Chrome, but only as a third-party extension. This new move puts it at the heart of the Google Chrome browser, and it makes it much easier for users to set the search engine for their everyday searches. It will be very interesting to see how this move affects the number of searches that go through DuckDuckGo in the future and whether it will have a noticeable adverse effect on the number of Google searches, too.