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> We don’t create personal profiles of you based on your search history. We actually anonymize all searches within one week.

> Many web services collect user data in order to sell it without asking your permission. We don’t sell your data or your searches to advertising companies.

> We protect your searches from potential eavesdroppers with a securely encrypted connection. This way we make sure that nobody between you and us can see your searches.

If they’re just handing everything off to Bing wholesale, are these quotes either misleading or straight up lies? The first one I’m confused about with the “anonymize all searches within one week”. I don’t know what that means. The second seems like Bing could still do those things. And the last one would be a lie considering Bing can see it.

https://info.ecosia.org/privacy






You just need to read it differently ...

We don’t create personal profiles of you based on your search history. (but our partner Bing might)

We don’t sell your data or your searches to advertising companies. (but our partner Bing is and hands us a piece of the rewards)


I guess the responsibility is on the user to dig through the FAQ or privacy policy to discover they use Bing and then read between the lines?

It’s disingenuous and misleading to the average user. They should be criticized for it.


I absolutely agree that they should be criticized for it, or at least explain their deal with Bing. If one can trust Google not to create ad profiles from Google Analytics data, one can also trust Bing to not use ecosia data to build user profiles. But for that to be a trust decision, we'd need to know whether they actually have any such deal with Bing.

> And the last one would be a lie considering Bing can see it.

How would that be a lie. They protect from eavesdroppers, as in someone intercepting the connection and trying to extract data being transmitted within a system. Bing is part of the whole system, not a third party trying to eavesdrop. Finally, they say they don't allow anyone between you and them - which is different from allowing between them and a third party, but I'm sure they would use an encrypted connection even when communicating with Bing.


That’s true. I guess I jumped the gun on that one. However, “nobody between you and us” still feels disingenuous because you have to dig quite a bit to find out that they use Bing on the backend and then leave concluding that “us” also includes Microsoft as the responsibility of the user. The average user isn’t going to make that connection because they’re not likely to be reading through the privacy policy or digging through the FAQ to discover they use Bing.

I think their page touting “privacy” should clearly indicate that they use Bing and that your privacy is ultimately beholden to Microsoft, not Ecosia, especially since Ecosia is happy to send unique identifiers to Bing for personalized search results as default.

It feels like a deftly move to offload their own responsibility to then be able to tout privacy as a selling point because they themselves don’t do anything with your information, Microsoft does.




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