Google has expanded its users’ choice of search products, with pro-privacy rival DuckDuckGo benefiting the most.
According to reports, Google has “quietly” updated its default search engine lists, expanding them to include pro-privacy search engines in 60 markets around the world. These search engines are considered rivals to Google. The changes came with the Chromium 73 release on Tuesday (March 12).
While the report speculated that the upgrade could have been prompted by scrutiny of how Google collects and uses data, Google Software Engineer Orin Jaworski said on GitHub that the changes reflect new usage statistics from recently collected data. Even if the move aims to diminish criticism, it likely isn’t nearly enough to calm down regulators and lawmakers around the world.
According to the newswire, DuckDuckGo, which wasn’t offered at all prior to the update, is now an option in 60 markets. Qwant, the French-based pro-privacy search engine, is on the list but only in France.
“We’re glad that Google has recognized the importance of offering consumers a private search option,” noted DuckDuckGo Founder Gabriel Weinberg. The search engine company has seen growth over the past few years, and has been receiving investments to take advantage of growing demand from consumers to search privately.
Qwant Co-founder Eric Leandri said he’s thankful Google added it to the search engine as an option, but would have preferred it to also be an option in Germany and Italy, where it has a large user base.