Using the web can mean selling your soul to the devil. Or Google. (Which you may well regard as the same thing.) With the increased interest in privacy there is a new market for tools and services that help to protect users.
Catering to web users who are concerned about how Google might use search data, Oscobo is a new search engine that promises not to track users.
Founded on the belief that "personal data should remain just that - personal", Oscobo is a UK-based company that says it won't store any data about its users, let alone share it with anyone else. With the controversy surrounding the snooper's charter, it makes sense that the privacy-focused search engine should start life in the UK, but there are plans to expand further afield to provide tailored results for people around the world.
Of course, in order to provide search results that are relevant to people, Oscobo (the name derived from the Swedish 'o' meaning 'not', and the Latin 'scobo' meaning 'to look into') needs to record search terms and IP addresses. But the key difference with this search engine - apart from the absence of third-party data sharing - is that this data vanishes as soon as a user leaves the site.
As well as helping to improve privacy, Oscobo's approach also helps to improve security. As the company says: "Any data that is held on a server can be hacked or misused. At Oscobo we believe that this is not acceptable. It's pretty simple really. We're on your side. We will not store or mess around with your personal data."
To try out the search engine, head over to Oscobo. You'll notice that there are ads, and these are served up based on your location and search terms without sharing personal data with others.