Among the ten commandments of protecting consumer privacy is the admonition "don't keep it." It appears that search engine ixquick is following that commandment:
Ixquick.com eliminates 'Big Brother'
First search engine to stop recording privacy details
HAARLEM, The Netherlands, June 27, 2006
As personal privacy concerns create growing alarm about the freedom of the Internet, the Ixquick metasearch engine (www.ixquick.com) has taken a pioneering step: starting today, Ixquick will permanently delete all personal search details gleaned from its users from the log files.
"This new feature of our search engine ensures both optimal privacy protection and maximum search performance for our customers, since they will be able to search using the 11 best search engines without their personal data being recorded," says Ixquick spokesman Alex van Eesteren.
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.
These 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.
For more information, please visit www.ixquick.com.
This makes sense in so many ways: First, they save cash since they don't have to store the information. Second, they don't have to worry about a privacy breach. Third, they won't get dragged into a fight over customer information. Finally, it'll excite privacy-concerned web surfers without alientating the others.