Most of us would agree that privacy is important. Without it, our ideas and actions are exposed to the world without our consent – something that even the most open of individuals would surely accept is not without its issues. Privacy is not about hiding illegal activity, but about being able to choose what we keep to ourselves and what we share.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Privacy is not about hiding illegal activity but choosing what we want to share” hashtags=”cloud, security”]

Unfortunately, maintaining our privacy is becoming increasingly difficult and in the digital age even something as seemingly benign as using a search engine comes at an unexpected cost. With personalised advertising providing such a lucrative market, search engine providers are harvesting personal information on an unprecedented scale. Sharing our personal data, including our age, location, likes and dislikes, is the modern cost of using the Internet.

Protecting UK privacy

Although there are privacy-focused search engines available, such as DuckDuckGo in the US, Oscobo is the first to target the UK market. This is important as location can play a crucial role in providing relevant results. By using a UK-based privacy search engine, users can receive results that are targeted to a UK audience, but without the search engine having to harvest individual location data. Of course, if users decide to add further location details into their search string, such as “Places to eat in Manchester,” for example, they can still receive more precise results.

There are also a number of other reasons why the UK was evidently ready for its own privacy-focused search engine. Although the most prominent surveillance headlines of recent years have surfaced in the US, namely those involving Edward Snowden and the NSA, the UK has some significant privacy controversies of its own.

The ongoing debate surrounding the Investigatory Powers Bill, currently being scrutinised in Parliament, suggests that online privacy is an important issue here in the UK. In addition, the more that users understand about the type and quantity of information being collected by Google and similar sites will likely lead to more privacy concerns.

[easy-tweet tweet=”the UK has some significant privacy controversies of its own.” hashtags=”cloud, security”]

Already, the privacy-search market is showing promising growth, outstripping that of the search market as a whole. All of this points to the fact that there is a receptive audience in the UK ready for a privacy-focused search engine.

In the future, however, there are plans for Oscobo to expand into other European markets. Although privacy may be a universal right, each market has its own particular concerns, which is why we believe that the UK and other nations deserve a reliable, secure and surveillance-free search engine all of their own.