DuckDuckGo CEO testifies: Switching from Google is harder than it should be

DuckDuckGo CEO testifies: Switching from Google is harder than it should be

Tech News

DuckDuckGo struggles due to Google’s default position on computer screens, its CEO Gabriel Weinberg testified in an antitrust trial against Google. The privacy-focused search engine founded 15 years ago has a 2.5 per cent market share, but Google’s default settings hinder users from switching, despite privacy preferences. 

The trial revolves around allegations that Google’s payments maintain its search engine monopoly, reported Bloomberg.

“Switching is way harder than it needs to be. There’s just too many steps,” Chief Executive Officer of DuckDuckGo Gabriel Weinberg said in federal court.

On Thursday, Weinberg spoke in court during the government’s antitrust trial involving Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. The Department of Justice says that Google pays over $10 billion annually to other tech companies, phone manufacturers, and wireless service providers. They do this to ensure that Google is the first choice, or default, on both computers and mobile phones.

Reportedly, the government claims that Google has unlawfully held onto its control of the market. They say this has prevented other search engines like Microsoft’s Bing and DuckDuckGo from growing big enough to compete. Google argues that it has earned its large share of the market, which the government says is nearly 90 per cent, because it has the best search engine, adds the report.

DuckDuckGo claims that it provides better protection against online tracking and is more open about how it uses personal information. They explain that the ads you see on their platform are related to your search results, not created through tracking methods like many other search engines use.

Weinberg mentioned that the default settings, which give preference to Google, make it difficult for users to switch to DuckDuckGo, even if they care about privacy. DuckDuckGo has emphasized that people should have a simple one-click option to select their default search engine, rather than having to go through complex processes, like the ones that require at least 15 steps on Android systems.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

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Updated: 22 Sep 2023, 01:38 PM IST

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