Phil Zimmermann, the creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), has joined Startpage.com “to spearhead its product innovation and crypto-development.”
In 2013, an article on Zimmermann’s Law quoted Phil Zimmermann as saying The natural flow of technology tends to move in the direction of making surveillance easier, and the ability of computers to track us doubles every eighteen months. You can read more about Phil Zimmermann on Wikipedia.
Startpage.com CEO Robert Beens revealed that Zimmermann will advise the company on its search product but that Zimmermann’s main focus will be the “development of the company’s next-generation PGP-encrypted email service”.
Startpage is an Internet search engine that allows users concerned about privacy to carry out Web searches and click on linked pages without being identified, tracked or recorded. The service offers use of a Startpage proxy that means the user is invisible to all websites, though pages load more slowly since Startpage must first retrieve the contents and then redisplay them.
The U.S. government and many other governments may subpoena citizens’ private information after it has been stored by Google, Bing, and other search engines. Startpage won’t do that simply because the company doesn’t store the information. Should a subpoena be received, Startpage will be unable to supply the requested information.
Every time you use a regular search engine (Google, Bing, and several others), your search data is recorded. Major search engines capture your IP address and use tracking cookies to make a record of your search terms, the time of your visit, and the links you choose – then they store that information in a giant database.
In addition, those searches reveal a shocking amount of personal information about you, such as your interests, family circumstances, political leanings, medical conditions, and more. This information is modern-day gold for marketers, government officials, black-hat hackers and criminals – all of whom would love to get their hands on your private search data.
Did you ever search for something and then for weeks after ads for similar products appeared during your travels around the Internet? Blame the search engine you used for the search! That search engine either used your personal information itself or sold it to others. (We’re looking at you, Facebook!)
Startpage doesn’t collect any information from your searches so obviously it doesn’t sell your personal information to others.
Maybe you should be using Startpage at https://www.startpage.com as your primary search engine?