Google personalizes search results even when you’re logged out, new study finds

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by mood, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. mood

    mood Updates Team

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    Google personalizes search results even when you’re logged out, new study finds
    A study, albeit from competitor DuckDuckGo, finds that Google search results can vary significantly
    December 4, 2018

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/4/...-personalized-unique-duckduckgo-filter-bubble
     
  2. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Nice read.
     
  3. Floyd 57

    Floyd 57 Registered Member

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    Damn, even when completely logged out of Google Account and in incognito (private browsing) mode

    Im considering dumping google as my search engine

    But then again, duckduckgo is a competitor to google, so who knows how true is their study. Still, it must be at least somewhat correct

    Maybe I'll do some testing, when I'm searching something, from now on I'll search in both google and duckduckgo and see what the differences are
     
  4. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Huh. I have no Google accounts. And I don't save any cookies between browser sessions. And I see no ads. But still, I wonder if Google is trying to optimize search results for me.

    But then, I've switched 100% to https://searx.me/ so hey :)
     
  5. Stefan Froberg

    Stefan Froberg Registered Member

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    Gosh...people still don't understand that the so called private browsing mode is nothing more than trying to hide your surfing from your spouse, co-workers etc...And not very good even in that.
     
  6. Floyd 57

    Floyd 57 Registered Member

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    I like how you assumed that I thought that :)

    The study also shows what you said:
    This is why reducing fingerprinting as much as possible can be important
     
  7. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Strictly speaking, yes. However, there's a set of properties that get set when you select "Always use private browsing mode". You could probably configure them all individually, but it's just easier to with that. Tor browser comes with that set by default. And I suspect that it was originally backported to Firefox. As have other privacy and security features.
     
  8. Stefan Froberg

    Stefan Froberg Registered Member

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    I have to check how Tor has augmented the mode, but the vanilla private browsing mode in most other browsers just "tries" to keep browser history from being able to digged out and ditto for cache and cookies. And that's about all, more or less.

    Of course it's good to have but it's far from perfect. There was few studies from past years that there was still traces left and any browser extensions could, if they wanted to, just basically show middle finger to the setting and store their own stuff however they pleased to disk.

    It's little like in the old days, when Internet Explorer was dominant and Firefox was still at coming, you tried to keep your stuff hidden, deleted cache, cookies, history, the works....then only to find out that the damn browser recorder everything to index.dat for "performance" reasons .... (I wonder if any of those sqlite files that FF uses do the same?)
     
  9. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I guess. But for me, each persona has its own VM, at least. Except for some personas that have their own personas, where I'm intentionally lazy. So private browsing is just a casual tweak.
     
  10. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    Ditched google search years ago and I'm not sorry. Haven't tried searx.me. Good to spread searches across different SE's I think.
     
  11. lolnothankyou

    lolnothankyou Registered Member

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    Maybe Google is split testing to improve the SERP. That would be a plausible excuse. It's actually true to some extent.
     
  12. KeyPer4Life

    KeyPer4Life Registered Member

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    Looks like Searx.me has Google SE, Google images, Youtube, Google news,
    Google scholar and Google videos on by default.
     
  13. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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  14. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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  15. Floyd 57

    Floyd 57 Registered Member

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    Unfortunately so far from my testing, duckduckgo is quite a decent amount slower than google. Typing the exact same term in the address bar, google usually takes between 0.5-1 sec to load, measured with the ghostery extension which shows me page load time, while duckduckgo usually takes between 0.8-1.2 secs. That's a huge difference in perception for me. With duckduckgo, the template of the page appears as fast as google, but then there's that few hundred milliseconds where the search results are blank and then they appear, giving a "delayed" kind of feeling which is definitely off-putting to me. As someone who can easily notice the difference between 165hz and 144hz, those few hundred milliseconds are the difference between feeling everything is fast, and feeling the page is loading slowly
     
  16. razorboy

    razorboy Registered Member

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    I've used DuckDuckGo for a year now. Google is Big Brother, the Orwellian version.
     
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