Two entrepreneurs are on a mission to bring a safer and fairer experience to all UK internet users. With a promise to never store or mess around with a users’ personal data, the UK’s first anonymous privacy search engine, Oscobo(www.oscobo.co.uk), has launched today. Founded by Fred Cornell (ex-Yahoo!) and Rob Perin (ex-BlackBerry), Oscobo provides consumers with pure search results based solely on the words that are typed in and not a profile that’s been amassed as a result of previous search engine use.
[easy-tweet tweet=”The UK has its first anonymous search engine thanks to @oscobo” user=”comparethecloud” hashtags=”infosec”]
Whenever consumers interact online, visit websites or use a search engine, they leave a vast amount of personal and private information behind. Many falsely believe that when using the incognito mode on their browser, no one can see what you do. The truth is that consumers are still being tracked by IP address, logins and other ways. We are moving into a post-cookie world where tracking companies and advertisers use a range of methods to track users across all devices and locations, these include location, super-cookies, device ID, offline activity and store cards, even if the user is not logged into their search engine account. All of this information is collated by traditional search engines to create highly accurate profiles of who they are, affecting the results that are displayed as a result.
“Over months and years a consumers’ personal history both in and out of a number of high profile search engines is tracked to monitor their online activity,” explains Rob Perin, co-founder of Oscobo. “This data is then stored, profiled, and sold to advertisers who bombard the consumer with spam, banner ads, and potentially cold calls. Worse of all it can even increase the online prices of goods and services based purely on who they are perceived to be online. We believe that this is fundamentally wrong and that personal data should remain just that, personal. Hence Oscobo was born.”
Oscobo is committed to giving internet users another option. It will provide them with private and secure search that does not store or share personal data, enabling them to have a safer and fairer experience when operating online. When a consumer selects Oscobo as their search engine, no footprint is left – this means that none of their personal and private data is stored or shared. Once they leave the Oscobo site, no records are kept and the search engine will not know who the consumer is when they return.
“We will not store or mess around with their personal and private data”
Fred Cornell, co-founder comments: “It doesn’t stop there. The tracking methods, or scripts, that run on most popular internet pages are slowing down browsing. This can be very expensive for consumers accessing the internet on their mobile devices. Especially if they are not on an all-you-can-eat data plan. It’s true that some scripts can be good and needed for the improvement of web sites, but many are now so called third party trackers are simply there to harvest as much information about a user as possible. This is certainly not something the user is expecting or would be prepared to pay for.”
Cornell adds: “It’s pretty simple really – we are on the consumers’ side. We will not store or mess around with their personal and private data, or use technology that costs the consumer additional money for no benefit. ”