Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of privacy-minded search engine DuckDuckGo, wants his message to be clear: It is possible to run a profitable ad-based digital business in 2019 without tracking and leveraging your users’ personal data.
It’s more assertion than opinion. His Paoli-based company has been profitable since 2014, and last year brought in “substantially more than … $25 million” in revenue, according to his testimony before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week on data privacy regulations and its impacts on competition and innovation.
Weinberg said that, in order to restore competition and innovation in the digital ad market — heavily dominated by Google and Facebook — the duopoly needed to be addressed.
“Fixing this digital-ad-market duopoly can take any number of forms,” said the CEO. “Here are three suggestions. First, consumers could be given a robust mechanism to opt-out of online tracking. Second, monopoly platforms could be prohibited from combining data across their different business lines. Third, acquisitions that strengthen existing data monopolies could be blocked.”
I'm honored to be testifying tomorrow before @senjudiciary to talk about how strong privacy legislation could help consumers and business alike. I'll post a link to my testimony and video when available. https://t.co/uQIau34O3A pic.twitter.com/M8cNkG5cIA
— Gabriel Weinberg (@yegg) March 11, 2019
The hearing, which also included testimony from Google and Intel representatives, comes at the heels of 2018 — the year that saw data privacy take center stage among consumers, and an increase in regulation on the subject of consumer data, both at local and international levels. DuckDuckGo has long been a proponent of online privacy, and has seen significant boosts in popularity as consumers grew more privacy-minded.
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