Today’s internet search engines have the power to track our personal data and decide what content can be listed as top results. Users are increasingly concerned that big tech companies have an outsized influence on the information they can view, while gathering enormous amounts of data through browser activity.
A group of American programmers has developed a new search engine intended to provide users with unbiased search results—without tracking the users’ IP, search history, and other information.
They named the search engine “Right Dao”—referring to Daoism and its philosophical pursuit of truth.
Right Dao developers have designed a new crawling and indexing method: The former referring to the process of scouring the internet for content, while the latter involves the storing and organizing of content found during crawling.
These newly developed techniques allow Right Dao to perform searches in an independent and uncensored manner, without relying on outside tools.
“We are a fully independent search engine. We have the infrastructure and built the technology from the ground up,” said Steve Smith, a developer at Right Dao. “[We] show the search results, free of manipulation.”
Smith gave an example of searching for the keywords “election fraud.” On the most popular search engines, the results on the first page all describe recent allegations of 2020 presidential election irregularities as unfounded.
In contrast, the results Right Dao shows include both negative and positive stories about election fraud.
Another major user concern is data privacy.
Many users report having this experience: After they search for a product, related advertisements pop up when they surf the internet. Users can easily be misled to believe that’s part of the results.
Some display ads would promote stores or companies close to their homes, which means the search engine tracked the users’ home addresses.
On Reddit and other social media platforms, people often discuss solutions they have come up with to protect their privacy. Some companies have also launched new search engine platforms that don’t store data.
“These small-size search engines don’t trace users’ search histories but they simply use the results of the most popular ones,” Smith said. For example, DuckDuckGo sources search results from Bing, the search engine developed by Microsoft.
Regarding funding sources, Smith noted that the platform doesn’t take funding from any consortium or business group.
“Currently, our scale is small and the cost is manageable. We don’t have a clear profit plan yet. Our top priority is to meet the users’ needs,” he said. “If we successfully create a product that our users truly love, we will have many ways to sustain.”