Startpage, a popular privacy focused search engine that operates out of the Netherlands, published a new FAQ on its websites in which several answers are provided regarding the change of ownership that took place recently.
Privacy One Group Ltd acquired a stake in the company which is owned by the advertising company System1. System1 states that it uses "technology to make advertising better and safer, while respecting consumer privacy".
The change raised fears and questions, especially since Startpage or System1/Privacy One Group Ltd provided little information about specifics off the deal. We asked important questions here. and others have done the same.
Startpage published an article on its site recently that attempts to answer some of these questions and reassure users of the service that the deal has no privacy implications.
Here are the main revelations of the article:
To summarize: Startpage states hat nothing has changed in regards to how the service operates in regards to user privacy.
The publication leads to another question: why has System1 / Privacy One Group Limited made an investment in Startpage? What is the motivation behind it?
Startpage attempts to answer that question as well by providing a statement of the Chairman Michael Blend and the CEO Ian Weingarten of System1.
In it, the company representatives state that the investment was made " because we believe Startpage serves a critical role in maintaining consumer privacy, and we hope our resources can help Startpage bring privacy to millions of new users around the world".
The whole situation could have been avoided if Startpage would have been transparent about the deal. The publication reveals critical information about the deal and should reassure some users. Others may require additional information or clarification, e.g. whether data is shared with Privacy One Group Limited or System1.
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