Privacy-centric search engines DuckDuckGo and Brave are booming, new research finds

Internet users, while still largely reliant on Google for search, are increasingly concerned about data privacy – and are experimenting with challenger search engines including DuckDuckGo and Brave, which promise built-in privacy protections, new poll finds. confidentiality.

Exclusive data from a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of The Drum reveals that a large majority of consumers are concerned about their personal information being shared by search engines such as Google and Bing without their consent. They also believe that search engines have a great deal of responsibility in protecting users’ personal data.

Here are the main findings of the survey, which was conducted among more than 1,000 American Internet users:

1. Consumers Care About Search Engines Collecting and Sharing Their Data

In the survey, 91% of all respondents said it was very important or somewhat important to them that when using a search engine their personal information is only shared with other parties with their consent. on purpose.

Only 7% of respondents said it was not very important or not important at all.

2. Consumers think search engines have a responsibility to protect their data

The results reveal that 65% of respondents believe that search engines should bear a great deal of responsibility in protecting the personal information of individual users. Another 21% think they should have a fair bit of responsibility.

11% said search engines should have little or no responsibility for protecting user data.

3. Users still opt for Google over privacy-centric search engines

Despite their interest in protecting personal data, most users still rely on the big kid around: Google. 78% of respondents said they search most often on Google; 6% say they use Bing and 4% prefer Yahoo.

Although Google has made progress – and made headlines – over the past few years on its increasingly stringent stance on privacy (notably in deprecating third-party cookies on Chrome and the company’s various Privacy Sandbox), he was slapped in trial after trial. claiming it’s better on paper than in practice when it comes to user data privacy.

4. DuckDuckGo is gaining momentum

There’s a small but growing minority of users who, wary of Google’s patchy privacy history, are looking elsewhere. A notable 7% of respondents to The Drum’s YouGov poll most often use DuckDuckGo, which has built an infrastructure and brand around a promise to protect user privacy. DuckDuckGo does not track users or allow third-party tracking of users across the web, and therefore does not produce filtered search results based on individual users’ online behavior patterns.

Although it remains a challenger in the space, 34% of respondents said they had used DuckDuckGo in the past and a further 30% said they had heard of it but had not tried it. According to the company’s own reports, DuckDuckGo’s daily queries have increased by 27% since the start of the year.

5. Users find courage using Brave

Brave, a new privacy-centric browser launched in 2019, is also gaining traction. 11% of consumers surveyed said they had used Brave before, and 9% said they had heard of it but not tried it yet, although less than one percent chose it as their search engine of choice.

Brave is eager to distinguish itself as a strong contender for users concerned about protecting their personal information from Google and Google’s countless advertising partners. “When users are on the web, they should be responsible for their data and their experience, not Google,” says Peter Snyder, the company’s chief privacy officer. “Brave is a user-driven platform. It’s time to reclaim control of Google; it starts with privacy by default and re-establishing a direct link between users and their favorite content.

Based on the data from this survey, it looks like web traffic on DuckDuckGo and Brave is expected to see continued growth through 2022.

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Rosemary S. Bishop