Startpage and Ivacy VPN, a private VPN service with more than 2 million customers, have partnered to increase privacy for users online.
The partnership adds Startpage as a private search option when Ivacy users make a VPN connection through the Ivacy app. Neither company tracks users, logs their data or sells it.
Startpage, which wants to reduce the information in digital footprints and profiles, disables browser fingerprinting. “Think about the digital profile that search engines have on people,” said Kelly Finnerty, director of brand and content at Startpage. “It might have the health or political issues you’ve been researching. All those get collected. You can easily clear your browser history, but it’s more difficult to clear your search history.”
Finnerty said a VPN will not disable browser fingerprinting. If users are logged in to Google Chrome through a VPN browser, fingerprinting still occurs. If users browse through Bing, for example, the search engine can still keep a record of the IP address about the searching being made.
For Startpage, partnerships with companies like Ivacy are important because VPN users are a step ahead when it comes to tracking and data collection. They know it’s not only about a user's location and IP address.
Founded in 2007, Ivacy shares a commitment to online privacy similar to that of Startpage. Their technology masks IP addresses, offers 256-bit encryption, does not sell user data to third parties and enables users to remain protected and anonymous while surfing the internet.
Ivacy customers who can access the VPN through mobile apps and operating systems will automatically see an option to browse privately with Startpage when connecting to the VPN.
Earlier this year, Startpage formed a partnership with Vivaldi. The company added Startpage as an option after some 84% of its users said the privacy reputation of a search engine is important to them.