Google is disputing a study released by competing privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo that claims the search giant is tracking users across the internet in order to deliver personalized search results, even when incognito mode is enabled.
DuckDuckGo claimed that Google is using personal information — ranging from search and browsing history to online purchases — to tailor search results in what the competitor calls “Google’s filter bubble.”
“These editorialized results are informed by the personal information Google has on you (like your search, browsing, and purchase history), and puts you in a bubble based on what Google’s algorithms think you’re most likely to click on,” DuckDuckGo said in a blog post outlining its privacy research study.
As part of its findings, DuckDuckGo noted that participants saw search results that were unique to them.
Moreover, enabling private browsing mode did little to affect how search results could vary from user to user.
“Private browsing mode and being logged out of Google offered very little filter bubble protection.