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Verizon launches ‘privacy-focused’ search engine leaving some skeptical because of the firm’s past

There is a new internet watchdog in town and it is powered by Verizon.

The tech giant released a ‘privacy-focused’ search engine, called OneSearch, which encrypts searches, leaves results unfiltered and claims to not store or transfer user information.

The platform is also Advanced Privacy Mode enabled, meaning all search result links expire within an hour.

However, some users are suspicions about the platform, as Verizon has come under fire in the past for its tracking customers as on the internet without permission.

Verizon launched a 'privacy-focused' search engine, called OneSearch. It has a simple design, with a black background and white text. Underneath the search box is a list of privacy solutions OneSearch offers such as 'No Cookies', 'No Personal Profiling' and 'Keyword Encryption'

Verizon launched a ‘privacy-focused’ search engine, called OneSearch. It has a simple design, with a black background and white text. Underneath the search box is a list of privacy solutions OneSearch offers such as ‘No Cookies’, ‘No Personal Profiling’ and ‘Keyword Encryption’

The search engine has a simple design, with a black background and white text.

Underneath the search box is a list of privacy solutions OneSearch offers such as ‘No Cookies’, ‘No Personal Profiling’ and ‘Keyword Encryption’.

Michael Albers, Head of Consumer Product, Verizon Media, said: ‘We deeply believe in consumer trust and choice, both for our user community and our partners.’

‘In support of our commitment to trust and transparency, we are excited to launch OneSearch, an innovative new online search experience built for privacy-minded searchers. With it, you can search the internet with increased confidence, knowing your personal and search data isn’t being tracked, stored, or shared with advertisers.’

Users have the ability to toggle the Advanced Privacy Mode on and off before searching, which Verizon explains adds ‘another layer of privacy in the event that multiple people use the same device or if a search results link is shared with a friend.’

This is in line with our strong commitment to lead the industry over the last couple decades,’ added Albers.

However, some users are suspicions about the platform, as Verizon has come under fire in the past for its tracking customers as on the internet without permission

However, some users are suspicions about the platform, as Verizon has come under fire in the past for its tracking customers as on the internet without permission

‘We are excited to evolve further, along with our partners and users, delivering a brand-new, privacy-minded experience for the search ecosystem.’

But one feature that many users may get excited about is that OneSearch is ad free, which means you will not be bombarded with shoe ads after searching for a pair of boots or see travel booking sites if you search for ‘flights to New York’.

The search engine is available in North America on both desktop and mobile web and will be ready for Android and iOS download later this month – other countries will have access ‘soon’.

Verizon’s platform may be what the world has been waiting for, but looking at its track record has left some users uneasy.

Gregory Hammond, a web developer, shared his concerns about the search engine on Twitter Tuesday.

‘Daily reminder that just because a site says they are privacy-focused doesn’t mean they are, you always should see who is behind that site because they may not have a good record of caring about privacy,’ he wrote.

The search engine is available in North America on both desktop and mobile web and will be ready for Android and iOS download later this month – other countries will have access 'soon'

The search engine is available in North America on both desktop and mobile web and will be ready for Android and iOS download later this month – other countries will have access ‘soon’

OneSearch comes nearly two years after Verizon was ordered to pay a 1.35 million fine over its ‘supercookie’ that the government said followed phone customers on the Internet without their permission.

The firm used this technology to deliver targeted ads to customer’s smartphones.

The Federal Communications Commission said in 2016 that it found that Verizon began using the supercookies with consumers in December 2012, but didn’t disclose the program until October 2014.

Verizon updated its privacy policy to disclose the trackers in March 2015 and gave people an option then to opt out.

However, the supercookie technology crossed a line, according to the FCC, based on its open Internet regulations.

 

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