Dutch Company Launches Private Unprofiled News Tab
Startpage.com has created a private News tab that allows users to search the internet without logging in or sharing any personal information.
The Dutch company launched the News tab today as an additional feature of its existing private browsing extension.
The tab allows users to keep up with the latest news stories in complete anonymity, and prevents users from becoming trapped in a limited bubble of search results tailored to their own preferences.
Anyone using the news tab will receive identical unprofiled search results for their particular query, regardless of their browsing history or demographic profile.
The News tab is an extension of Startpage’s existing private search engine options of “Web,” “Images,” and “Anonymous View.”
A spokesperson for Startpage.com said: "With the rise of content creation and dispersion of news sources, there’s been a tidal wave of news coverage flowing across the web on a daily basis. Some of this news becomes wide-reaching, being read by millions, while other news goes entirely unnoticed.
"Furthermore, news outlets’ viewpoints are becoming more extreme to serve niche audiences with divisive opinions versus unbiased reporting."
Algorithms developed to display curated news and articles based on a reader's individual digital profile result in users' receiving only a narrow slice of information about what's really going on in the world.
Startpage.com was inspired to create the News tab after several months of receiving multiple requests from their users for a "fair, un-personalized, anonymous way to receive their news."
A company spokesperson said: "Most search engines keep an archive of your prior search and browsing history, resulting in a 'filter bubble,'—a tailored internet experience based on your collected data, which traps you in a search bubble built by your own preferences. Startpage’s News tab empowers users to see comprehensive search results beyond the bubble."
The News tab will showcase the most relevant search results—which can be filtered by date—while guaranteeing a completely unprofiled browsing experience, allowing users to peruse the news free of any search history tracking.
Startpage.com won praise from the Dutch legal protection minister Sander Dekker, who cited the company in a June letter to the House of Representatives regarding privacy.
Dekker wrote: "It is important that people become more aware of the consequences of sharing personal data. Dutch initiatives such as the search engine Startpage.com, where no personal data is stored, contribute to the protection of the privacy of citizens."
Source: Information Security Magazine