Disconnect Search took the wraps off a new version of its tools that allows people to use popular search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google without having their queries logged or tracked, making it accessible through a Web page, Android app, and browser plug-ins for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.
The Disconnect app acts as a proxy for online searches, so personal information gets removed. Even queries done on Google, Bing and Yahoo are routed through Disconnect's servers. Searches appear as if they come directly from Disconnect, rather than the person searching on the mobile device.
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup's CTO, Patrick Jackson, was a former NSA engineer. Others at the company include Brian Kennish, a former Google and DoubleClick engineer, and co-CEO Casey Oppenheim, a consumer and privacy rights attorney. The team optimized the search engine for speed, enabling results to load more than twice as fast as the previous version. Disconnect Search also supports the latest versions of Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS).
The company also said Blackphone, which places privacy and control in the hands of its mobile users, will use the latest Disconnect Search technology as the default search provider on its phone. Blackphone launched during Mobile World Congress offering applications that allow consumers to control privacy and security setting from their phones. It was created by SGP Technologies, a joint venture of Silent Circle and Geeksphone.
Disconnect has some competition, but mostly when it comes to desktop browsing. Other privacy-friendly search engines include DuckDuckGo and Ixquick.
"Woman disconnects cable" photo from Shutterstock.