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What specific, technical and verifiable information exists to support StartPage’s claims about privacy? For example, they claim in the “Privacy” section of their iPhone app:

StartPage does not record any information about its users. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

and

[O]ur privacy practices are regularly audited and third-party certified.

I am skeptical because they essentially claim to serve up Google results anonymously. It seems surprising to me that Google would allow this, and even more surprising that StartPage asserts that

[Y]ou receive authentic Google results but you're never seen by Google[...]

  • You have multiple questions here. As for getting authentic Google results, it must be doing something more than just acting as a proxy for Google, since its results are not identical. As for your very first question, there is no way whatsoever to verify that independently. You must trust them. – forest Sep 1 '18 at 20:47
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Startpage.com has a contract with Google that allows us to use their official "Syndicated Web Search" feed, so we have to pay them to get those results. Sometimes we get slightly different results, but in general, they are the same high quality.

We serve those results to you in privacy. Google never sees you, and we never log any user personal information. Even Edward Snowden has recommended Startpage.com for its no-logging privacy.

You can be sure we never share your personal details with any third party, including Google. Your privacy is absolutely secured. You can read more about this in our privacy policy.

Can users trust Startpage.com do do what it says and maintain its privacy promises? We have an article on this here.

If you would like more information, please feel free to email our tech team: Support@Startpage.com.

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    Well this is certainly an authoritative answer and indeed answers how they get this traffic, but it doesn't explain what guarantees you provide, it just says "trust us". Also, some of this seems to be directly copied from your FAQ, e.g. support.startpage.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/147/…. One thing that concerns me is the fact that this was posted at all. It makes me question if there's a PR team that checks the web for mentions of StartPage on sites like these to write about them. That just doesn't feel right. – forest Sep 2 '18 at 0:04
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    Because this is such a boiler plate answer, you've left out key details, like the specific certifications given by EuroPriSe during their audits. These issues are likely what is resulting in the downvotes, or at least that's what it looks like. – forest Sep 2 '18 at 0:13
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    @forest just because there is a PR team that does searches for their own company name is no indication of anything. – schroeder Sep 2 '18 at 12:24
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    How can we be "sure" ? What supports your claims ? Is the contract available somewhere online or did you get audited ? Also, I agree with @schroeder, I see nothing wrong in checking what is being said on you or your company and answer questions/defend yourself. – Xavier59 Sep 2 '18 at 13:25
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    I agree with Xavier59. I don’t think this question satisfies the “technical” or “verifiable” requirements (and is a little light on specifics) – David M. Sep 4 '18 at 0:04

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