Startpage Search owner changes raise serious questions

Startpage announced on September 28, 2019 on the official Startpage weblog that Privacy One Group Ltd has made an funding in Startpage.com. The announcement revealed that the connection between the 2 teams began in January 2019 and that Startpage will proceed to ship “high quality, unbiased search outcomes whereas respecting on-line privateness and by no means storing shopper information” going ahead.

The Internet has little details about Privacy One Group Ltd.  A Limited corporations search returns no hits and most info that’s obtainable on-line has been revealed after the Startpage announcement.

startpage privacy one group

Startpage revealed within the press launch that Privacy One Group Ltd is owned by System1; that truth and the lack of awareness surrounding Privacy One Group Ltd induced uncertainty and confusion.

A seek for System1 returns extra info. The firm operates out of London and it turns into clear rapidly that it’s an promoting firm.

At System1 we use behavioural and advertising science to assist manufacturers and entrepreneurs obtain worthwhile progress with zero waste. Our methods produce outcomes, not simply insights, and our options are based mostly within the quick and straightforward selections folks make day by day.

To summarize: an promoting firm (System1) has a “separate working unit” that focuses on consumer privateness (Privacy One Group) that acquired a stake (how a lot) of the privateness centered search engine Startpage.

It is evident that such a situation would raise questions. What is Privacy One Group Ltd all about? How a lot management do the unique house owners of Startpage nonetheless have over the corporate and the choice making processes? Does System1 profit in any approach?

These questions haven’t been answered.

Privacytools.io delisted Startpage after making an attempt to get solutions; which means that the service now not recommends Startpage. PrivacyTools notes within the announcement that it has no proof of Startpage violating its privateness insurance policies and that the choice was based mostly on quite a lot of unanswered questions and Startpage’s evasive habits with reference to those questions.

In specific, PrivacyTools needs to know:

  • The share of stakes that System1 / Privacy One Group Ltd acquired from Surfboard Holding B.V.
  • The present share of possession by System1.
  • Information about Privacy One Group Ltd together with its company construction, nation of registration and operation.
  • Data circulate diagrams to point which information flows to exterior organizations.

Closing Words

I used Startpage for years and have really helpful it frequently right here on this website. While there’s zero proof of privateness coverage violations or unethical habits, e.g. offering System1 with information from searches, it’s regarding that Startpage didn’t deal with the questions in a transparent method.

Based on the lack of awareness, and that alone, I can’t advocate Startpage Search. I’ll begin utilizing DuckDuckGo, Searx and Qwant for now.

Now You: What is your tackle all of this?

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