Google search results are personalised even when incognito, study finds
LOGGING OUT OF YOUR GOOGLE ACCOUNT WON’T HELP EITHER.
A study conducted by DuckDuckGo has found that Google’s targeted search results are practically impossible to escape. The study suggests that this “filter bubble” remains active for each individual user, even when using private browsing (incognito mode) or when logged out of a Google account. As part of the experiment 87 participants searched for the terms “gun control”, “vaccines” and “immigration” at the same time, only to find each individual had markedly different results despite the identical terms.
It was found that most participants had unique results, with first page results varying across the board as well. While some individuals shared a few common first page links, they weren’t available to others. Even private browsing and being logged out “offered very little filter bubble protection”. “These tactics simply do not provide the anonymity most people expect,” claims DuckDuckGo. “In fact, it’s simply not possible to use Google search and avoid its filter bubble.” While the study is far from scientific and the results potentially biased, it does provide interesting insight. However, Google isn’t taking the bait, saying the study is flawed.