Businesses online are getting constantly more aggressive in finding out about you. With all the hacks, have Americans had enough?
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
Duck Duck Go is a company that has set itself directly in opposition to the usual business practices. They hold themselves up as a competitor to Google Search that does not track you, and they’ve commissioned polls to see how Americans feel about it. The good news for DDG, and people sick of the business of adverspying, is that the numbers have moved.
The bad news is they haven’t moved very much.
Every metric has moved up, but only slightly, in the DDG poll. The use of Virtual Private Networks, the “Do Not Track” flag, and ad/tracker blocking all serve different purposes toward the greater privacy goals. They’re all up, which suggests there is movement in that direction, as if there were no then results would go random up or down. It’s just not enough movement to suggest a major new trend.
The only difference that looks meaningful is the use of password managers. Which tells me people aren’t trying to restrict their data in the wake of hacks, but they’re just trying to do their part to prevent hacks. Which helps for attacks on their own accounts, but not for attacks on the companies themselves!
So, those concerned about privacy online, or companies like DDG who depend on people getting concerned about privacy online, have a lot of work to do if they want broad social change. The current progress is there, but just is slow.