Here Is a Chart of People Freaking Out About Online Privacy

DuckDuckGo, the "alternative search engine," pitches itself as a kind of anti-Google Google, with a particular focus on user privacy. ("DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information. That is our privacy policy in a nutshell.")

So it's telling to see, in this graph of DuckDuckGo's usage, the crazy traffic spike that the site has seen since the beginning of the year.

duckduck615.png

Yeah. Duck and then duck and then, suddenly ... GO. On March 28, 2011, the site fielded 195,331 direct queries from users. A year later -- as of earlier this week -- the number of queries had lept to 1,467,247.

The query spike coincides with DuckDuckGo's January 2012 visual redesign -- which, though the changes didn't represent a huge overhaul, came with a spate of added publicity for the site -- and with, more recently, late January's Data Privacy Day.

But it seems to coincide with something bigger, too: the public's growing awareness of the many trade-offs of online privacy, particularly when it comes to Google. So the chart above suggests on the one hand an upstart search engine growing its base of users. But it also suggests, on the other, a base of users who are panicking about their privacy -- slowly, steadily, and then, whoa, exponentially.

Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In