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During a recent review of changes to the Firefox profile (I'm version controlling it) there turned out to be a new property searchdefaulthash in search-metadata.json:

"[global]":{
    [...]
    "searchdefault":"Google",
    "searchdefaulthash":"fGiy1O53LgQtereW/4qUSlwFfagTNKGghURIbAFw8wY=",
    "searchdefaultexpir":1442682088627
}

It looks like the output of openssl dgst -sha256 -binary | openssl enc -base64, but the input is not simply Google:

$ printf Google | openssl dgst -sha256 -binary | openssl enc -base64
zncGZ+X5sNj1U2e7eUGWidkMSEUbsz8Hnzqacq4TLeg=

The concern is whether this is something personally identifying which is sent when searching on Google. I could find literally nothing about searchdefaulthash on Google and DuckDuckGo, so I'm a bit stumped how it's created & used.

Update: It looks like it has something to do with making some search engines only visible in some countries, although the reason for that is puzzling.

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