How Americans feel about online search privacy
May 4th, 2022, YouGov

How Americans feel about online search privacy

A recent YouGov Direct poll reveals just how important privacy is to the American public when using search engines, and how many have flocked to privacy-centric alternatives to the mainstream sites.

Poll data shows 91% of Americans say it’s very or somewhat important that search engines obtain explicit user consent before sharing personal data with third parties. Notably, younger Americans, those aged 18-29 (84%), are slightly less likely to feel this way.

Coupled with these findings, we see 86% of US adults say search engines have a great deal – or a fair amount – of responsibility in protecting personal information of users. Just 11% say search engines should have no or not much responsibility.

As concern around personal privacy has risen in recent years, alternative search engines that put an emphasis on privacy have entered the market. One such site is DuckDuckGo, which 34% of Americans say they’ve used, while another 30% have at least heard of. Data shows 11% have used Brave.

All this isn’t spelling the demise of the mainstream sites by any means. Nearly eight in ten Americans (78%) say Google is their go-to search. But 7% say they primarily use DuckDuckGo, which is a single point higher than Bing (6%), suggesting consumers have privacy in mind when on the hunt for internet content.

Methodology: YouGov polled 1,081 US adults online on April 25, 2022 between 8:32 a.m. and 1:34 p.m. ET. The survey was carried out through YouGov Direct. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity. Results are nationally representative of adults in the United States. The margin of error is 3.0% for the overall sample.