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[flagged] Brave acquires search engine to offer the first private alternative to Google (brave.com)
85 points by twapi 70 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 42 comments

Current title "Brave acquires search engine to offer the first private alternative to Google" seems quite misleading since there are plenty of private alternatives to Google (search engine) already ?

Especially for english speaking programming and news etc. searches, https://duckduckgo.com is really good.

Brave multiple times has promoted PR with headlines like this, claiming they're the first for something.

They reek of gimmick and that tactic is gross, unauthentic.

most aspects of Brave are gross. Their very foundational tech is unethical.

DuckDuckGo uses bing for search.

From what I understand, DDG uses bing as a primary source, but they also pull data from numerous other sources, including their own crawler.


You can choose what DuckDuckGo uses for search, including anonymous proxying of search queries to Google.

where can we do this? All searches result in "DuckDuck vs Google" , how ddg is better etc.

Private Search [1] works well too. </shameless>. That said, Brave is an awesome company headed by someone I look up to greatly. I'm definitely optimistic about their search product.

[1] https://private.sh/

I disagree with the decisions of Brave. I recently uninstalled the browser on my phone when it kept prompting me to enable crypto wallets and other things I don't care about. I just want a better alternative to Chrome.

Brave's obsession with crypto will be the death of them.

> it kept prompting me to enable crypto wallets and other things I don't care about.

I'm sure this will be fixed or can be disabled. I'm confident in Brave's passion toward its mission.

> Brave's obsession with crypto will be the death of them.

I have the opposite thought here. I believe that Brave's pioneering position in crypto will hedge the company front and center as we transition to newer, better internet protocols.

I've never had such an issue.

The only way I am able to avoid youtube ads on mobile is by using brave browser.

Also i'm very sure all the nuisances you describe can be disabled.

They can be disabled and have been, multiple times.

Each upgrade enables some new wallet on my homescreen or advertises some new coin exchange site (disabled both several times). One day, Twitter was randomly polluted with a "Tip" button next to each Tweet, it took me awhile to find how to disable that.

A real shame too, I did enjoy using Brave for the short couple of months I did use it but their constant upgrades that reenable crypto are just plain annoying.

Once again, Brave's obsession with crypto will be the death of them.

So do you look up to their misleading claims, you believe someone promoting lies is something to look up to greatly?

Fwiw, over the many years of trying it, I have never experienced Duck Duck Go search results to be anything but unusably poor quality unless I specify the google search engine, which, IMHO, is quixotic.

startpage.com as well.

Now owned by an advertisement / tracking company. No thanks.

According to startpage, no. But if there's no difference then why buy it? It's still an anti privacy company owning a so-called privacy company. They should prove they are private with external reviews if they want trust.

With this reasoning, even external review will not help, because the company can change their practices right after the review.

DuckDuckGo and Brave are also owned by an ad company. Or do you see that differently?

Headline is a bit rich, since duckduckgo exists (and Bing/Microsoft if you really stretch it).

I get the point though -- duckduckgo doesn't provide a browser. But I'm guessing Brave doesn't provide hosted email service (Gmail), file and document hosting (Google Drive and Docs) so the analogy breaks down either way.

That snark being said, I do want more privacy on the web -- so yay Brave!

> duckduckgo doesn't provide a browser

That's not entirely true. They do have a browser for Android and iOS[0]. When I search they frequently show a small pop-up to install it.

[0] https://apps.apple.com/us/app/duckduckgo-privacy-browser/id6...

This was my first response as well (and posted a sibling that said the same).

Do we know if DDG passes through every query on demand, or does it have a caching layer or something where popular queries only hit Microsoft once a day?

Bing search API terms of use do not allow caching [0].

"You must use results you obtain through the Services only in Internet Search Experiences (as defined in the use and display requirements) and must not cache or copy results. "

But they may have a special agreement in place due to the number of searches happening on DDG (100 million + daily [1]). They're larger than Bing in many countries.

[0] - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/bing/apis/legal

[1] - https://duckduckgo.com/traffic

Does it matter? If it's proxied through a single API "user", Microsoft can't track individual DDG users, right?

I think it still matters— maybe it's way harder to track an individual user, but you could still do some inference about queries which lead to other queries, or watching for bursts/crescendos of traffic on a particular topic in response to current events.

Your first claim, I'm suspicious this can be done after a certain scale. If DDG is sending queries from millions of users, it's much harder to untangle them.

Your second query, absolutely, Microsoft is getting very good aggregated data from their API, which is useful to them, but that's not really a privacy violation for individual users.

Yeah, that's fair— once the queries are anonymized and stripped of any locale information, there isn't too much more to go on. And while there may be technical reasons to want to cache popular searches, then you're mostly just denying your upstream analytics which are fairly reasonable for them to want to have.

OTOH, Debian deliberately provides the technical means for third parties to host verifiable mirrors of their package repository, and then makes the analytics an opt-in thing (popcon).

This is just false though. There are several privacy preserving search engines out there. The fact that they're not owned by a browser vendor is irrelevant.

It's also annoying suggesting that it's even necessary for the search engine to be owned by the browser vendor.

This may well be part of Brave's plan with regard to BAT (basic attention token), or some other form of monetization but it does little for the end consumer.

I use Brave and DuckDuckGo (bing) as my primary coupled search engine.

However, sometimes when I am trying to find resources on a particular issue/library/framework, I have to invoke :g (google search) in order to find those results; otherwise, thy're absent from the DDG searches.

Until this is addressed, the search really won't be that competitive, unless this is some weird niche thing that I think is more widespread than it is?

It's about time google had some competition that might just pull off a great competing service.

What a clickbait and clearly false headline. Sadly this is very like Brave to claim things that are on the wrong side of the truth. It's like there's some kind of inferiority complex at Brave that shows it face from time to time.

The Cliqz Tech blog : https://0x65.dev contains many informations about how their constructed their private search engine.

The much more specific full title of the post is less wrong.

"Brave acquires search engine to offer the first private alternative to Google Search and Google Chrome on both mobile and desktop"

That's technically probably true but not a lot better. DuckDuckGo is a private alternative search engine and they already have a mobile browser, so literally the only part that makes it work is "and alternative to Chrome on desktop". You can claim that DDG doesn't count because it uses bing for some of its backend (not exclusively, they do run their own crawler plus other sources IIRC), but then I get to throw out the Brave browser since it's a Blink ... actually, more than just using blink, isn't it outright a Chromium fork even for the frontend?

Less wrong but still false.

That's very brave, isn't it ?

Define "private"

Definite "alternative" as well :)

Pretty sure Brave is built on Chromium which might not have Google embedded, but it's still Google owned.

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