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Ex-Google ad boss builds tracker-free search engine

An advert- and tracker-free search engine launches in the UK, France and Germany on Thursday, reported BBC.

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search engine
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An advert- and tracker-free search engine launches in the UK, France and Germany on Thursday, reported BBC.

Neeva has 600,000 users in the US, where it launched last year.

Creator Sridhar Ramaswamy, who worked at Google for 16 years and ran its ad business, told BBC News the technology sector had become “exploitative” of people’s data, something he no longer wanted to be a part of.

Trackers share information about online activity, largely to target adverts.

Neeva has raised $77.5m (£68m) from investors.

It offers free-to-use search, with other features such as password-manager access and virtual-private-network (VPN) service to be made available on a subscription basis.

Users are asked to create an account, to build subscriptions at a later date.

And the UK price was likely to be about £5 per month, Mr Ramaswamy said.

“We felt the traditional search engines had become about advertising and advertisers – and not really about serving users,” he said.

“Google has a dominant position in the marketplace – and the incentive for them to truly innovate, to truly create disruptive experiences, is not really there.

“And then also as a company they feel obligated to show more and more revenue and profit to their shareholders, so they just keep increasing the number of ads.”

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