The private Chicagoland school where Nathan and I work as system administrators cares about privacy. That’s why we don’t use Google Chrome as a browser on Macs, Windows PCs, iPads, iPhones, and jump through hoops to rid it on Chromebooks.
Why? Privacy matters. How is it beneficial to a school, students, faculty, or staff members that Google can gather private information about each user? Alternative browser search engines abound. What’s coming that is so dangerous?
The Ad Business
When it comes to almost any controversy or issue or change in the world, it’s good to follow the money trail. Apple’s new Mac Pro starts at $6,000. Why so much? Few Mac users need that much power so Apple is going to make sure it’s worth the trouble to produce such a behemoth.
What about Google and Chrome? Follow the money. Google is an ad business that gives away free software in exchange for the rights to exercise its ability to extract private information from users. That private data is gather, sifted, filtered, and sold to advertisers so that can better persuade and manipulate users online.
Advertising and trackers are so pervasive these days that a growing percentage of browser users have added ad blockers and tracker blockers to their browsers– including Chrome. Google, of course, does not want that trend to continue because it makes money collecting information about you.
That sounds wonderful, right? What’s the problem?
Google also works to ensure that many ad blockers and tracker blockers that run as Chrome extensions will not work, either.
See the problem? Is there a solution where you can use Google for search but not be tracked? Yes. Put whatever ad blocker and tracker blocker you want on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or whatever, and then use StartPage.
Here’s how StartPage describes itself.
You can’t beat Google when it comes to online search. So we’re paying them to use their brilliant search results in order to remove all trackers and logs. The result: The world’s best and most private search engine. Only now you can search without ads following you around, recommending products you’ve already bought. And no more data mining by companies with dubious intentions. We want you to dance like nobody’s watching and search like nobody’s watching.
It’s like using Google when Google’s trackers and all the ad trackers are asleep. Win, win. Now, Apple doesn’t let you use StartPage as the default search engine in Safari, but there is a way around it. The StartPage extension.
Is it any wonder why Google does not like independent websites?
As part of the AppleVillagers group of Apple-oriented websites, Mac360– and all the others– do not use ad trackers, data trackers, or even cookies. That means our webpages are the fastest loading pages around– no extra tracker weight to carry around.
There is much to like with StartPage. Much that Google doesn’t like. How is that not a good thing? That makes StartPage a danger to Google, too.