Let’s apply the duck-test to Google;
- They severely limited access for Scroogle, the Google-scraper for privacy-nuts, to the point where it is effectively out of service (although apparently Google isn’t the only one to blame)
- They have been caught with their hands in your cookie jar, not only bypassing user’s cookie preferences in Safari but also in Internet Explorer
So if Google looks, swims and quacks like it doesn’t care about user privacy, it must be that it … doesn’t care about user privacy.
I on the other hand do care about my privacy, so I decided to put even less eggs in Google’s basket: I’ve switched my search-engine to startpage.com, which is operated by a Dutch company (i.e. one which has to comply with stricter European privacy laws) and which guarantees privacy while being powered by Google.
Startpage’s only downside: they are blocked by our company internet-filter because they provide proxy-services, so as an alternative I also use the less powerful DuckDuckGo (I changed keyword.url in Firefox’ about:config to “https://duckduckgo.com/?q=”). And a nice bonus; DuckDuckGo also has a nice Android-app, which I have installed to replace Google Search on my Sammy SII as well.