DuckDuckGo is a search engine that claims it will not share your results with others. Many of my skeptical coworkers think it may be a scam.
Is there any proof that any web search engine will protect your privacy as it advertises?
The founder, Gabriel Weinberg, has a blog at: http://www.gabrielweinberg.com/blog/ It's not "proof" by itself, but taken together will all the other indicators that have been mentioned by others, the amount of effort someone would have to go to in order to fake all these signals of authenticity is very significant!
I've suggested an edit to this. Why single out DuckDuck? The same question applies to Google (*especially* to Google), Bing, Yahoo and all the others.
There is no proof that DuckDuckGo operates as advertised. (There never is, on the web.) However, that is the wrong question.
No, I don't think that DuckDuckGo is a scam. I think that's crazy talk. Given the incentives and legal regime, I think you should assume DuckDuckGo follows their own privacy policies, until you find any information to the contrary.
Your reliance on legal incentives seems to assume the site or owner are located in the US. I never feel very trusting of a site when `whois` tells me `Registrant Contact: WhoisGuard Protected`.
@HughAllen - Since whois can be completely faked, what's to prevent someone from spoofing a legitimate address from a business in NYC to the Whitehouse? Well one may be fishy, but ultimately I need a D&B number to prove incorporation of some type.
@HughAllen There are perfectly legitimate reasons to guard against another site revealing your information, and just because WhoIs shows as US isn't proof that the *business* is registered there. Paranoia will destroy ya, but the right place to look would be a registry of incorporated businesses.
@HughAllen Also, even if it was registered internationally, these laws are generally applied globally. And in most places you'd be able to get around them, your site's reliability would be severly compromised.
@HughAllen consider also that there were cases of US government taking over .com domains of entities outside US which violated US laws. So having .com site and committing a felony in the US is usually not a very smart move for an entity whose business is entirely web-based.
@HughAllen - Does it matter if where they are located? If they do business with american citzens as proven by several recent cases, there is an expectation that a company even located in a country where said action is not illegal, must take measures so american citzens cannot violate the law. If you have a .com, .org or .net domain and are in the business that might be gray, then you better understand the laws which apply to you, as a business owner and the people who visit your website.
3 years late… just wanted to drop that a privacy-protected `whois` doesn’t prevent finding the location of an officially registered company: DuckDuckGo, Inc. is ”…headquartered in Paoli, Pennsylvania, USA…” as Bloomberg’s info and even the Yellow Pages entry seem to confirm. Maybe just pick up the phone and give the founder, “yegg” a call in case of doubt? ;)