In response to growing concerns over search engine privacy, the metasearch engine Ixquick has announced it will permanently delete all personal search details gleaned from its users from their log files. From their press release:
As digital technology increasingly pervades our world, more and more personal details are being stored electronically, many of them by search engines. While you are searching the internet, these engines register the time of your searches, the terms you used, the sites you visited and your IP address. In many cases this IP address makes it possible to trace the computer, and in turn the household, that carried out the search.
hese personal details are often retained for long periods by search engines and are of interest to commercial parties, governments and even criminals.
“Many search engines openly use this data for commercial purposes. It seems only to be a question of time before the data gets misused,” alleges Van Eesteren. “Therefore we have decided to permanently delete all personal search records. If the data is not stored, users privacy can’t be breached”.
Ixquick’s Meta Search feature enables the user to simultaneously search 11 of the best search engines. However, Ixquick does not share the user’s personal data with these individual search engines in any circumstances. In addition, as of this week, Ixquick will delete the users’ IP addresses and ‘unique user IDs’ from its own ‘Log Files’.
“Therefore, any user can use Ixquick.com to search in a combination of the best search engines secure in the knowledge that they can enjoy complete protection of their privacy,” continues Mr. van Eesteren.
[via John Battelle]