Privacy-Aware Business Models
This section discusses three alternative business models to the giants in web search, app development, and advertising. These companies and platforms prioritize user privacy, personal data ownership, and freedom from unwanted advertising and tracking. At its core, each of these models aims to democratize the web by shifting the focus away from consumer exploitation and towards user welfare and agency.
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that prioritizes user privacy. It does not store user data and is free to use as a browser extension or mobile app. DuckDuckGo currently processes over 60 million search queries a day. In comparison, Google processes over 3.5 billion search queries a day. As of June 2020, DuckDuckGo had a share of approximately 1.5% in the market for search engines. This summary describes how DuckDuckGo works, its business model, competitors, and implications for innovation and competition policy.
A revolutionary approach to data ownership and privacy, Solid is a tech stack developed by the founder of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. Solid’s mission is to decentralize the web by doing away with huge data silos, providing users ownership over their personal data, and reshaping the nature of competition among digital companies.