Are You Caught in a Filter Bubble?

What is a Filter Bubble?

From Google’s privacy policy:

“We also use this information to offer you tailored content – like giving you more relevant search results and ads.”

And again:

“Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection.”

And that, my friend, is a Filter Bubble.

We not only get targeted ads following us around the internet, but, when we google something, the search results are customised to show us what Google thinks we want to see.

Breaking out of the bubble

You don’t have to stay trapped in Google’s or Bing’s bubble. Here are two alternative sites you can use for your searches.

DuckDuckGo search engine

DuckDuckGo is my default search engine. It doesn’t store your search history, doesn’t track you around the internet, and provides good search results.

DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Policy:

“Our privacy policy is simple: we don’t collect or share any of your personal information.”

A silly name but a good search engine.

StartPage by ixquick

StartPage bills itself as “the world’s most private search engine”.

It uses Google for searching but Google doesn’t know the query came from you. So the results aren’t customised.

Screenshot

StartPage also gives you the option of opening search results by proxy. This means that any web site you visit will not know who (or where) you are. And they will not be able to write cookies to your computer.

Here’s a link to a slideshow on the Filter Bubble.

Don’t let the Filter Bubble dull your curiosity.

Richard Hoare.