Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine


  • - Ambassador -

    Certainly privacy ends at the same time when we access the internet, the only thing we can do is limit the data that is collected about us, restricting them to the minimum.
    Google certainly offers top quality services and many of them do not have a real alternative, such as YouTube or Maps,
    There are others, such as Dailymotion, Metacafé, etc., but they do not even have the functionality and content of YT.
    With the maps something similar happens, there we can choose between OpenStreet Map, although much more shabby or those of Bing, with which we pass the data to Microsoft.
    If we also participate in Facebook or / and use WhatsApp and Instagram, we can now go directly with a sign with our curriculum vitae down the street.
    Therefore using all the means at our disposal, such as ad and scriptblocker, fingerprint spoofer, private search engine, etc. It is pure self defense and our right to put a curtain on our street window.
    We do not always have to trust the honesty of a multinational, as well as in the past when Facebook had to withdraw an app for smartphone that could access the camera and micro of the mobile, without the user's consent, since they specified it in their conditions of Use, that nobody bothers to read.



  • @Catweazle said in Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine:

    With the maps something similar happens, there we can choose between OpenStreet Map, although much more shabby or those of Bing, with which we pass the data to Microsoft.

    yandex maps (they don't care about you, maybe unless you live in Russia), HERE maps etc. pp. Maps are not the problem.



  • @QuHno said in Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine:

    @Catweazle said in Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine:

    With the maps something similar happens, there we can choose between OpenStreet Map, although much more shabby or those of Bing, with which we pass the data to Microsoft.

    yandex maps (they don't care about you, maybe unless you live in Russia), HERE maps etc. pp. Maps are not the problem.

    Yandex maps are not accurate in Europe. Bing Maps are more or less accurate, but OpenStreet Maps are not that accurate.


  • - Ambassador -

    @QuHno said in Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine:

    @Catweazle said in Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine:

    With the maps something similar happens, there we can choose between OpenStreet Map, although much more shabby or those of Bing, with which we pass the data to Microsoft.

    yandex maps (they don't care about you, maybe unless you live in Russia), HERE maps etc. pp. Maps are not the problem.

    HERE Maps are of MS, default map in WindowsPhone., but is the same, nor of tem like Google Maps



  • @chdsl said in Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine:

    @QuHno said in Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine:

    @Catweazle said in Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine:

    With the maps something similar happens, there we can choose between OpenStreet Map, although much more shabby or those of Bing, with which we pass the data to Microsoft.

    yandex maps (they don't care about you, maybe unless you live in Russia), HERE maps etc. pp. Maps are not the problem.

    Yandex maps are not accurate in Europe. Bing Maps are more or less accurate, but OpenStreet Maps are not that accurate.

    That depends on where you are and who supplies the data.

    I know for a fact that UK maps are much better in OpenStreetMap than Google (yes really!*) and I expect the same would be true in France as it is national policy there for government departments to support open source. On the other hand, I know firsthand that some countries are being manually updated by a single volunteer (I personally thanked one once through the OpenStreetMap website for making my offline-map-GPS-based trip possible).

    (*) For all of Northern Europe that I have checked, the OpenStreetMap has much more topological and infrastructure detail - often provided by local authorities or transcribed from detailed national maps. Google's only advantage is the 3D imagery and the live traffic - since other services can provide the route planning and live traffic that leaves only the 3D rendered imagery as a differentiator. Edit: and for direct links to businesses etc.



  • Mojeek looks really, not heard of it before. Shame you can’t turn off ‘family filtering’



  • When I first heard of Mojeek, I thought it's an interesting project with a noble goal, but unfortunately I can't really trust it because despite its claims of privacy and no logs, it is in a "five-eyes" country (I'm ashamed to say it's my country). In short, the authorities could compromise it and serve them a "gagging order", and there's nothing they'd be able to do to warn users. I might use it a little bit to hopefully add "noise" if anyone is performing data collection on it, but I won't trust it with my most sensitive queries - yet! I'd love to see a prominent warrant-canary on their web page, for a little extra reassurance.

    I'd say the arguments about companies needing to trade our data to pay for their servers and resources are nonsense. Duckduckgo (also in a five-eyes country) has proven that. Repeated proof that this is possible is demonstrated by the makers of the Vivaldi browser, OpenStreetMap, the disroot.org team, and the privacytools.io team!

    The first criticism I ever receive from people regarding other search engines, is that "the results just aren't as good as Goggle's!" I'd say that's solely a result of Goggle's tracking of you. I personally have noticed no difference in result quality between Goggle, Duckduckgo, Startpage, Qwant and various SearX instances - probably because I've always taken extra steps to avoid tracking, and I avoid Goggle for most things - so they have less tracking data with which to build a search bubble. I'd also agree with another post that OpenStreetmap seems to be as good as Goggle for UK coverage/accuracy. Whilst on the subject of OpenStreetmap, this should improve yet further as Qwant seem to be using it as the underlying engine for their own equivalent of G-maps.

    One of my objections to all this data collection is that hardly a day goes by when you don't hear of someone either abusing the data they already have, or simply getting hacked. If you don't need it, don't collect or store it! You might not care if Goggle knows you've searched an embarrassing disease, but if that information were to be leaked, it would be in the public domain and you'd be less happy. If your insurance company bought that information, you'd potentially be even less happy.

    But it's not just private corporations. Consider the authorities, too. The freedoms you enjoy today may be illegal tomorrow. If you are happy for the government to know and record all of your private business, you are depending on your government, and all future governments always being both benevolant and competent, for the rest of time, and never deciding to use that information as ammunition against you. Just imagine if a future government decides that your religion is "terrorism" or a "cult". Just imagine if an e-mail you sent 10 years ago saying why you were voting for the opposition-party is used against you as "evidence" that you're a terrorist? Or CCTV footage of you peacefully protesting against the felling of trees (edited, of course)?

    Surrendering your privacy is extremely dangerous as you can't predict the future and how unexpected use of that information might come back to bite you.

    Saying "I have nothing to fear because I have nothing to hide" is the equivalent of saying "I don't care about freedom of speech because I have nothing to say" (paraphrased quote of Edward Snowden). Privacy is a fundamental right. You don't have to justify why you have a right. It's just a right. If someone uses the "nothing to hide" argument, how incredibly selfish must they be to say a right doesn't matter, and that no one should have it, simply because they as an individual don't exercise that particular right!

    Additionally, I often ask people who use the "nothing to hide" argument: "if you have nothing to hide, why do you close the bathroom door when you take a dump, and why do you wear clothes? Additionally, would you agree to having your next intimate encounter broadcast on live TV, and would you post all of your usernames, passwords and bank/credit-card details online on your blog?"

    We can't afford to have the defeatist attitude of "nothing to hide" and we can't afford the defeatist attitude of "there's no such thing as privacy on the internet". There still are such things - they just require quite a lot of effort and a degree of inconvenience at present. Hopefully one day, the effort and inconvenience required will decrease, but that day still seems far off.


  • - Ambassador -

    @jamesbeardmore said in Privacy and the rise of the alternative search engine:

    When I first heard of Mojeek, I thought it's an interesting project with a noble goal, but unfortunately I can't really trust it because despite its claims of privacy and no logs, it is in a "five-eyes" country (I'm ashamed to say it's my country). In short, the authorities could compromise it and serve them a "gagging order", and there's nothing they'd be able to do to warn users. I might use it a little bit to hopefully add "noise" if anyone is performing data collection on it, but I won't trust it with my most sensitive queries - yet! I'd love to see a prominent warrant-canary on their web page, for a little extra reassurance.

    I'd say the arguments about companies needing to trade our data to pay for their servers and resources are nonsense. Duckduckgo (also in a five-eyes country) has proven that. Repeated proof that this is possible is demonstrated by the makers of the Vivaldi browser, OpenStreetMap, the disroot.org team, and the privacytools.io team!

    The first criticism I ever receive from people regarding other search engines, is that "the results just aren't as good as Goggle's!" I'd say that's solely a result of Goggle's tracking of you. I personally have noticed no difference in result quality between Goggle, Duckduckgo, Startpage, Qwant and various SearX instances - probably because I've always taken extra steps to avoid tracking, and I avoid Goggle for most things - so they have less tracking data with which to build a search bubble. I'd also agree with another post that OpenStreetmap seems to be as good as Goggle for UK coverage/accuracy. Whilst on the subject of OpenStreetmap, this should improve yet further as Qwant seem to be using it as the underlying engine for their own equivalent of G-maps.

    One of my objections to all this data collection is that hardly a day goes by when you don't hear of someone either abusing the data they already have, or simply getting hacked. If you don't need it, don't collect or store it! You might not care if Goggle knows you've searched an embarrassing disease, but if that information were to be leaked, it would be in the public domain and you'd be less happy. If your insurance company bought that information, you'd potentially be even less happy.

    But it's not just private corporations. Consider the authorities, too. The freedoms you enjoy today may be illegal tomorrow. If you are happy for the government to know and record all of your private business, you are depending on your government, and all future governments always being both benevolant and competent, for the rest of time, and never deciding to use that information as ammunition against you. Just imagine if a future government decides that your religion is "terrorism" or a "cult". Just imagine if an e-mail you sent 10 years ago saying why you were voting for the opposition-party is used against you as "evidence" that you're a terrorist? Or CCTV footage of you peacefully protesting against the felling of trees (edited, of course)?

    Surrendering your privacy is extremely dangerous as you can't predict the future and how unexpected use of that information might come back to bite you.

    Saying "I have nothing to fear because I have nothing to hide" is the equivalent of saying "I don't care about freedom of speech because I have nothing to say" (paraphrased quote of Edward Snowden). Privacy is a fundamental right. You don't have to justify why you have a right. It's just a right. If someone uses the "nothing to hide" argument, how incredibly selfish must they be to say a right doesn't matter, and that no one should have it, simply because they as an individual don't exercise that particular right!

    Additionally, I often ask people who use the "nothing to hide" argument: "if you have nothing to hide, why do you close the bathroom door when you take a dump, and why do you wear clothes? Additionally, would you agree to having your next intimate encounter broadcast on live TV, and would you post all of your usernames, passwords and bank/credit-card details online on your blog?"

    We can't afford to have the defeatist attitude of "nothing to hide" and we can't afford the defeatist attitude of "there's no such thing as privacy on the internet". There still are such things - they just require quite a lot of effort and a degree of inconvenience at present. Hopefully one day, the effort and inconvenience required will decrease, but that day still seems far off.

    I subscribe each comma, many discussions I had about it.
    Unfortunately there is also much ignorance about this user sniffing of the big companies and in fact nobody can expect a minimum of privacy, even if you use a private search engine or / and a browser like Vivaldi, if on the other hand upload photos in a swimsuit to Instagram and post on Facebook when he is going to piss.We cannot have 100% privacy on the network, but if we can control to some extent the data we are willing to give, and this in the first line depends on ourselves. Many selfies in undesirable situations have cost a job.


  • - Ambassador -



  • Sigh, some dopes still come out with the idiotic "nothing to hide" line. Amazeballs.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/jm16vx/why_is_securityprivacy_important_to_you/



  • @Steffie It seems (from the post you point to) that if you care about privacy & security, it comes down to a «libertarian ideological» point of view. 🤦🏻♂



  • @hlehyaric Maybe / possibly / probably / i dunno. Alternatively, a large factor might be one's innate sense of cynicism or its opposite, credulity.

    For cynics like me, with a broadly pessimistic opinion of the general venality & selfishness of humans, privacy feels as essential as oxygen [though imo the latter is overrated].

    As to that link, i simply feel agog each time i encounter someone with so little imagination, & such naive unawareness of even just a fraction of the dire stuff that individuals, companies & governments do, that they can honestly ask with a straight face "if i have nothing to hide, why should i care?".

    B-Arkers.



  • @Steffie That «nothing to hide, nothing to fear» catchphrase is just an idiotic motto. I have nothing to hide doesn't mean my life is an open book for anyone to read. We're living in a really weird world.



  • I invite anyone who has "nothing to hide" to post their full name, address and bank account details here. 🖤


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