The New Leaf Annex

Lukol - A "Privacy" Search Engine

I sometimes discover new search engines in The New Leaf Journal's Koko Analytics referral data (learn about Koko Analytics here). One such search engine is Lukol. It claims to be an “anonymous search engine” that is “powered by Google custom search.” That seemed odd, but I decided to check the privacy policy to see how it is anonymous. It begins by claiming that it does not collect “personally identifiable information” – but then:

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information you’ve provided to them or they’ve collected from your use of their services. If you wish to opt out of Google cookies you may do so by visiting the Google privacy policy page.

(Archived privacy policy page from April 23, 2022.)

So this anonymous search engine stores cookies on your computer to serve you with personalized “content and ads” and it shares information about your use of the site with “advertising and analytics partners.” It then directs you to Google’s privacy policy page for information about how to opt out of Google cookies. While I struggle to see how Lukol is privacy-friendly (much less anonymous), it is a great example for why it is important to look behind catchy promises about privacy and anonymity.

This article is a slightly modified version of a post that first appeared in The New Leaf Journal on April 28, 2022.

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#Privacy #WordPress #New Leaf Journal #Search Engines

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