Cliqz makes beta available of privacy search engine with its own algorithm

Cliqz has released a first beta version of its standalone, privacy-friendly search engine. The search engine is German and, unlike other privacy search engines, does not use Google or Bing as the underlying technology.

The search engine can be used at beta.cliqz.com. Cliqz is a company that makes anonymization tools, such as the Cliqz browser. That’s a Firefox fork with several built-in anti-tracking techniques. The company also bought the Ghostery anti-tracking tool in 2017, which is integrated into the browser. A few years ago, Cliqz experimented with built-in search via an add-on that allowed users to anonymously search existing search engines. Now the company has developed its own search engine.

The search engine looks a lot like Google and Bing. In addition to the standard search results, users can also search for images, events and topics that are currently trending. For some search results, users are presented with a widget, such as when they search for the weather. In addition, it is possible to view a preview for some search results, although this often only consists of the header information. At a website, users can also see how many trackers they contain and what types of trackers they are. That information comes from Ghostery. If a user doesn’t find what they’re looking for, they can click through to Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo.

Cliqz Search uses a proprietary search algorithm. That’s different from many other private search engines like Startpage or DuckDuckGo. They respectively use Google and Microsoft’s Bing as the underlying technology, although searches are not associated with unique identifiers. According to Cliqz, having more than two search indexes is important for diversity and fair competition. The search engine does not send any metadata associated with searches that is linked to, for example, IP addresses. However, Cliqz does collect anonymous ‘interaction statistics’ to improve search results. The latter happens when users use the Cliqz browser. The company has developed a new technology called Human Web for this. Search results are analyzed and added to the search index where necessary.

Cliqz itself is part of the German company Hubert Burda Media. The company wants to monetize ads based on the user’s browsing history. This is done with the program MyOffrz, which analyzes browser information. According to the company, this is done client-side, so that the information is not forwarded to Cliqz’s servers. The company also receives donations, including from Mozilla.

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