Ecosia.org updates its Privacy Policy
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Ecosia.org updates its Privacy Policy
We protect your privacy
www.ecosia.org
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Find out the steps we take to keep your data safe

From September 2023, we will be gradually rolling out our new unique search offer. This will happen over several months and won’t apply to everyone at the same time. This means that when you search through Ecosia, we work with either Microsoft Bing or, with your consent, Google to provide you with search results and ads. In order to do this, we automatically collect data required by search partners to prevent bot attacks and ad fraud - which includes your IP address and search terms.

For a growing number of users we can now provide Google results and advertisements. In order to supply these results and ads, Google requires a cookie to be set on your browser and access to your device’s local storage to store information. We will ask for your consent before doing this and if you do not agree, we will provide non-personalized results from Microsoft Bing.

In order to provide non-personalized Microsoft Bing results and ads, we are contractually obliged to implement Microsoft Clarity to capture how you use and interact with our website through behavioral metrics, as well as sharing your IP address and search terms. This behavioral data is captured in individual search sessions and is not tied to a user profile unless you consent. The processing of this data is necessary for the provision of our service. Although Ecosia does not use this information, it is used by Microsoft Bing for site and advertising optimization, as well as fraud protection. For more information about how Microsoft collects and uses your data, visit Microsoft’s privacy statement and Microsoft Clarity documentation.

Microsoft Bing does also offer personalized search results and ads. This service requires a cookie to be set on your browser which creates a personal profile. We will ask for your consent before enabling this and you can change your choice at any time in your cookie preferences. More information on cookies and how to take control of your preferences can be found in the “What about cookies?” section.

@Lemmchen@feddit.de
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For those looking to switch their search provider, try out Kagi: https://kagi.com

Since the comments are full of alternative usecases like ddg and brave search, I just leave this here:

https://searx.space/

I tried using Searx a while ago but it always got blocked by the search engines. Your mileage may vary.

the only right suggestion here.

So this is a search aggregator that searches across the main sites? And they’re hosted by individuals and I can create my own instance if I want?

That’s actually real cool

JokeDeity
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In concept, it didn’t work that well when I tried it a few months ago, personally.

I’ll join in. Just signed up for the trial of Kagi after seeing an article on here and I’ve already subscribed. I don’t miss google at all and am excited to play with some of the innovating features (lenses look neat).

http://kagi.com

I’ve been testing it for a week or so after seeing it around the fediverse; my initial experience was bumpy (they truncate passwords at 71 characters, and while the registration page is supposed to notify you of that, it did not and let me complete registration with a much longer password, which then failed to login on other devices since the 71 char limit - this issue has been filed). But I have liked the results for all (30ish) queries except one, which was a very niche search. Even G didn’t really pull helpful answers, though it was better than Kagi.

Probably going to sub at the $5 tier after I use my trial searches.

@lud@lemm.ee
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Why did you try a password longer than 71 chars?

See my response below your comment

Not him but I know people who use poems and quotes as passwords. Those can easily go for more than 71 characters because there’s a good reason to do it. It essentially guarantees a password that can’t be bruteforced without any additional information and it’s easier to remember than random symbols.

70+ may seem much but it’s good practice to have a password as long as possible, assuming you can remember it.

10EXP
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Could also be generating passwords and cranking that password length there to max.

Ding ding ding. I am moving to 100+ char passwords for sites that support it. There is absolutely no reason to ever have a maximum character limit for passwords, and it drives me insane that some sites still use asinine limits like 12 (!) character maximums.

I started with 20, then 40, and now 60 moving to 100+ or whatever the max is for websites. I have been hacked long ago and I’ve been the target of discrimination and personal attacks of many types before, so I’ve ratcheted up my security hard in the last decade.

war
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deleted by creator

It’s a paid service and needs login. Well… searXNG looks like to be the opposite.

Been using Brave search for months now and pretty happy with it, also helps that they have their own index

war
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deleted by creator

ɐɥO
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this really sucks

Well, fuck the trees then, I guess.

Planting trees does not equal caring for young trees as they grow. By their standards I could throw a handful of walnuts out the window and claim I planted several trees.

do you think someone walks around the forest to water each individual tree?

macallik
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Very pessimistic take. I highly doubt they are planting trees that are unlikely to be sustained.

It sounds like they don’t really have a choice in this unless they completely switch up their internal search engines, right? Like, it’s a shame, but not exactly something they’re to blame for? Or am I missing something?

macallik
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I am not blaming them as much as I am reevaluating the level of privacy I’m sacrificing given the additional context in their updated statement

  1. ‘Their’ privacy policy now roughly equates to “We don’t really do anything but you should read the privacy policy of Microsoft (and optionally Google).” It feels less like an alternative search engine and more like a middle-man that still passes the data along. Speaking of which:
  2. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but they are touting ‘non-personalized results and ads’ as if that’s the privacy end goal, when it’s really just the side-effect of companies not having data on you. Based on their updated policy, they are giving the illusion of privacy via ‘non-personalized results’ while capturing/sharing searches, behaviors & IP address that I’m guessing can easily be deanonymized @ Microsoft.

Maybe I’m misreading something? It reads like the same experience of using Bing without the marginal benefit of a personalized experience.

I think it’s a catch-22 because I’d imagine a sizeable cohort of their pro-environment demographic is likely pro-privacy/anti-‘corporations knowing everything about you’, and so while the increase in usefulness in data can increase their charitable donations, it will rub lots of users the wrong way.

Isn’t the new part just the google stuff? They have always been using bing results.

macallik
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Wayback Machine ftw. Here is August 2023:

The only piece of personal information we collect is the IP address your internet connection runs over at a given moment. Why? We need to protect ourselves against “spammers”, meaning ad fraud and bots trying to up-rank certain search results. Your IP address is anonymised after one week or less. For example, 192.168.152.223 becomes 192.168.XXX.XXX.

We still use Microsoft Bing to deliver search results, but using them through Ecosia is very different from searching on Bing directly. At Microsoft or Google, you are likely to have personal IDs which track you across all of their services: email, calendar, video platform, gaming, video conferencing, maps, locations, location history, and so on.

We don’t sell any data to anyone and we don’t buy any data either.

We are interested in the performance of our social media advertising, as well as answering your search results. We would like to know if users stay with us once they have seen our ads and installed us. This helps us run the right advertising campaigns on the right platforms. We never let those platforms know your search terms, though. We only share whether you are still searching with us or not. We only do so with your consent and you can remove that consent at any time.

https://web.archive.org/web/20230729030327/https://www.ecosia.org/privacy

No, it appears you are correct. Looks like they’re being bullied by Google and Microsoft.

I only use Ecosia as my search engine at work, so I’m not too concerned since I’ve got bigger fish to fry at work, such as Zoom and Google Drive.

Yeah same, we switched from GSuite to Office 365 last year at work, so it didn’t exactly feel like progress

Wouldn’t this also apply to DuckDuckGo then?

Yeah good point, I don’t know

Up until this moment ecosia was my preferred and most used search engine. No more, sadly.

Someone tell DuckDuckGo to plant trees plz.

Atemu
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You might want to inform yourself whether tree NFTs actually achieve anything useful in the real world.

They are very transparent with their financials. Pretty much everything they don’t need for upkeep and salaries does directly to legitimate environmental projects.

macallik
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The questionable privacy policy doesn’t negate the actual work being done. I’m no longer using them, but calling it tree NFTs is misguided

https://youtu.be/pPg_vDMeiJY?si=pmeBAG7HDXhmAOgV&t=73

@PipedLinkBot@feddit.rocks
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Here is an alternative Piped link(s):

https://youtu.be/pPg_vDMeiJY?si=pmeBAG7HDXhmAOgV&t=73

Piped is a privacy-respecting open-source alternative frontend to YouTube.

I’m open-source, check me out at GitHub.

But its not piped link…

It is a piped link, just the text is the YouTube url

ultratiem
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What is happening!

More than I’m capable of being chained to a desk in this economic system we’re all essentially forced into joining, absolutely. I never claimed it was perfect, just that it was my preferred engine.

Find someone else here to judge for giving a non-zero amount of a shit. Also, I just said I’m not using it anymore lol.

macallik
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I used it as my primary browser on my laptop/desktop. I supported the cause and through my usage I planted +150 trees, but the trade-off is steepening so I’m going to have to jump ship.

I’ll be pivoting to DuckDuckGo as my main search engine, and use Brave for more nuanced/specific results.

Say what you want about Brave, but at least they are moving to their own indexing. Where as DuckDuckGo is just Bing…

Also I’d take that anti-Brave link with a grain of salt. I’ve got a hunch it’s somehow connected back to a Vivaldi dev. So I’d view it as highly untrustworthy.

macallik
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Anyone backed by Peter Thiel is guilty by association at this point.

A browser isn’t a search engine A browser isn’t a search engine A browser isn’t a search engine A browser isn’t a search engine A browser isn’t a search engine A browser isn’t a search engine A browser isn’t a search engine A browser isn’t a search engine

look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search look up Brave search

Tell us that you know absolutely nothing about Brave without saying that you know absolutely nothing about Brave

above

Brave search isn’t brave browser. I can use brave search on any browser

And yet some people want to try both, and then they get yelled at on the internet for trying something new.

I don’t think you can yell on lemmy

macallik
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bad bot

Bat bot

With DuckDuckGo we get zero trees planted. It’s outside the EU too so although they have a relationship with US companies I hope that there are some protections around data transfer.

I don’t think so. They have commercial agreements with Microsoft that forces them to not block their trackers, so who knows what else they are obliged to by contract

For non-search tracker blocking (eg in our browser), we block most third-party trackers. Unfortunately our Microsoft search syndication agreement prevents us from doing more to Microsoft-owned properties. However, we have been continually pushing and expect to be doing more soon.

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/duckduckgo-browser-allows-microsoft-trackers-due-to-search-agreement/

The Microsoft one does concern me. The Google features are optional to the user, but not the MS ones.

Funny. MS used to ridicule Google for being an “advertising company”. Probably said in jealousy since they’re no different now.

Magnor
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Yeah, I would recommend you ditch brave while you’re at it : link

And DDG while you’re at it. At least if you wanna be concerned about CEOs.

Magnor
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How so ?

That guy created and then sold a social network. He’s being criticized as being in privacy-tech only for the money, although besides the aforementioned fact there seems to be little evidence for this claim.

What is true however is that DDG had some privacy whoopsies in the past, whereas they always claimed those were accidents or not abused (by them). Again, benefit of doubt, but their trackrecord is not clean.

I don’t see a better alternative for search tho.

DDG is untrustworthy because it is US-based, and because its CEO and founder is also the founder of “The Names Database”

Magnor
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I’ll have to look that up, never heard of it. Looks bad.

macallik
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Wooof. I’ve started using Brave for less then 24 hours and I’m already jumping ship. Anyone backed by Peter Thiel is an immediate ‘no’ for me.

I’ll have to try Whoogle or SearXNG but search engines seem to regularly block my queries so that I only get random results from wikimedia. Maybe I can resolve the issues w/ self-hosting? Otherwise, I might just try to redirect most of my questions to open-source LLMs

I strongly advocate for Kagi. Yes, it’s paid search, but it means that there is no tracking or ad revenue concerns obfuscating the search results.

until you release that due to needing an account, all your search queries are tied to your account and even if they claim not to, it would be trivial for Kagi to associate all of them with you.

and we don’t have the code of their servers, we know nothing of how they handle this critical information, other than their “trust me bro”.

(and even if they are not directly associating this information, if they store some kind of logs, it would probably be trivial for any third party that gets access to their servers to make the association. an again, we know nothing about their procedures)

That’s fair; I guess it depends on what your threat model is — kind of like how using a vpn can just expose you to your vpn service while ostensibly protecting you from your service provider.

To me, the improved search results from kagi and the disconnect between search and ad-and-tracking companies are worth it. But that may not be a fit for anyone else.

wynar
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I selfhost SearXNG via Unraid and have it plugged in as my default search engine in Firefox. Occasionally there might be an issue with one of the providers but I’ve found there’s usually an update pending that I just need to run which fixes the problem. I haven’t heard anything negative from my users as of yet though.

macallik
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Was struggling through an attempted self-install of SearXNG. So far so good, w/ this one, thanks for sharing

Well I guess it’s kind of a lose lose then

Good way to lose the customer base.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds to me like they don’t really have another option at the moment, and its Bing who is responsible for most of the changes.

Wonder how ddg and kagi are avoiding this then

DuckGuy
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Kagi uses its own crawler, right? But yeah, I expect DDG to follow Ecosia’s lead.

They do but they mix its results with bing & google

When it comes to the environment they have no competition. I’m still with them.

@morrowind@lemmy.ml
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If you look at it from another perspetive, someone like kagi takes a lot of pride in being lightweight in resource usage. I wonder if that has a comparable result on the environment

Comparable to planting 180 million trees? Plus, Ecosia’s servers run on renewable energy

@morrowind@lemmy.ml
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# of trees doesn’t matter, only the search : trees ratio. But yeah with the renewable energy may not make a difference

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A place to discuss privacy and freedom in the digital world.

Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.

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