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Privacy search engine DuckDuckGo has seen traffic rocket after recent widely publicized privacy scares, according to the company.
DuckDuckGo CEO Gabe Weinberg told CNBC that usage of the service has grown 600% since 2013, which he ascribes to growing public awareness on privacy matters.
Weinberg said that recent NSA surveillance leaks combined with Apple adding DuckDuckGo as an optional search engine in devices running both iOS and OS X had driven the stellar growth in use.
DuckDuckGo differs from more traditional search engines such as Google because it does not track users based on their search history, but instead sells advertising based only on the content of each individual search. So if a user searches for ‘iPad’, they will see adverts for Apple’s tablet. However, Facebook and Google have built enormous databases of information concerning people’s search and buying habits that enable them to target ads in a more granular manner.
Weinberg continued, stating that users probably don’t realise how much data Google is collecting on them and what it is doing with that data. This is how DuckDuckGo will continue to grow and win over customers, said Weinberg, according to a report by 9 to 5 Mac.
Mashable reports that DuckDuckGo jumped to nearly 2 billion searches in 2014, up from a billion in 2013.
The legality of surveillance by the NSA is still being debated in US courts. We Live Security reported back in May that the most recent development was that the mass collection of phone records and metadata had been ruled illegal on appeal, overturning a previous contrary ruling from 2013.
Author Karl Thomas, ESET