Privacy-Focused Search Engine DuckDuckGo Included in Safari 8
Computing privacy advocates scored a big win on Monday, as Apple announced the inclusion of privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo in Safari 8.0, which will ship as part of OS X Yosemite, and iOS 8‘s Mobile Safari 7, later this year. Although Google will remain the default Safari search engine out of the box, users will be able to easily switch to Bing, Yahoo, and now DuckDuckGo, with a quick trip to Safari’s preferences.
Most major search engines collect data on users and their search queries for the purposes of both marketing and providing more relevant “personalized” search results. While this can be useful, some users prefer to limit the data that online companies are able to collect, and DuckDuckGo was founded in late 2008 to satisfy this desire. The company’s slogan is “The search engine that doesn’t track you.”
As the threats to online privacy have become more widely publicized in recent months, DuckDuckGo has seen an unsurprising rise in traffic. As we discussed back in January, the search engine experienced a huge surge in users following the revelations of NSA spying by former government contractor Edward Snowden.
In addition to protecting users, DuckDuckGo also aims to provide more relevant search results. In a world where Google has automated the entire online search process, DuckDuckGo relies on qualitative and crowdsourced information from sources like Wikipedia and WolframAlpha. This means that the company’s search results often vary significantly from those generated by competitors like Google and Yahoo.
With OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 not slated for release until this fall, users looking to switch to DuckDuckGo now can integrate the search service with public versions of Safari by installing a custom Safari Extension.