[DELISTED] Discussion: StartPage

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Re: https://github.com/prism-break/prism-break/issues/168

:arrow_forward: https://github.com/prism-break/prism-break/issues/168#issuecomment-323861736 :arrow_forward: How can your privacy policies be verified? Can users trust Startpage.com to do what it says? - Startpage.com Support

We have an issue for delisting Startpage.

Not the best news. I still have to use Google proper for about 60% of my searches (particularly, in-depth ones), but it was nice having Startpage for more “basic” searches.

IMO, the less info you give Google the better (even if you can’t get them out of your life 100%).

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This is really unfortunate news. Not many replacements for startpage.

Just a thought before pulling…Should you invite the CEO of System1 to share his plans for Startpage? He’s newly installed in August. (CEO of DuckDuckGo Gabriel Weinberg has always been open to posting.)

Here’s information on the new CEO Ian Weingarten: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/system1-appoints-ian-weingarten-ceo-185700741.html

Here’s an excerpt from that press release:

“Weingarten has over 25 years of experience spanning operations, corporate and business development, and private equity. Most recently, he served as SVP of Corporate Development and Partnerships at Yahoo, where he oversaw thousands of partnerships with companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla and spearheaded the company’s sale to Verizon…”

Not sure what he would say, but at least he would be given a hearing.

Privacytools.io is extremely influential in the privacy world. Once you pull Startpage, other privacy sites will follow. There are also bound to be journalists who will write about it. This could crush a privacy alternative.

(Note: I resigned from Startpage. Just trying to share another perspective.)

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You haven’t updated your GitHub yet which confused me a bit earlier while I agree with you.

I agree, and am (since reading your GitHub comment I saw first) trying to get some team member who understands Reddit or how to communicate with people/entitities who don’t appear at our issue tracker or rooms by themselves :slight_smile:

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Thank you Liz, very insightful as always. This is the reason I hate to delist good services.

That is a good idea, I will try to reach out today. I’m not in too much of a hurry with this because things never change right away, but in the long-term changes in ownership like this rarely work out for the better so it’s very concerning to me.

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Thanks, Jonah – and thanks to Mikaela for pointing out that I didn’t update my Github bio! I have fixed that to show my resignation.

Note: There should be no one better than the CEO of System1 to answer about future plans. BTW - news accounts show Weingarten was a Senior Vice President at Yahoo dealing with partnerships with companies like Google, which could also provide some interesting insights. I know many people would want to know about the Startpage - Google relationship and how other companies like Yahoo, Oath (owned by Verizon) and Bing might someday play into the equation. System1 recently bought Mapquest from Verizon. System1 mentions owning other services in the announcement, which might be of interest, as well.

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Hi Jonah. Were you able to reach out to System1 CEO Ian Weingarten?

People are making assumptions because no one from System1 is responding, and the Startpage Twitter account is down. There’s already a really critical article online by Techrights. I think the sooner he responds, the better.

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Hi @LizMcIntyre. I did reach out to their media channels and Ian directly, and I will update when/if I receive a response.

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Hi, Liz, Jonah.

Let me know if you want a cross-channel verification. :wink:

I can’t even put into words how badly they’re handling this from a marketing/PR perspective. It’s now been two days?

They have (had?) a great thing going. I hope they don’t throw it all away simply because they neglected to hire a marketing person and let Liz go. Were I directing things, I would have moved mountains to adapt a plan that she’s comfortable ethically with, then working intensely to make sure the roll-out is transparent and forthright.

I agree that, since they’ve done such a good job before, we should cut them some slack in the near-term. But if they think not ever being responsive is the way to go…

Well. As I opened with, I can’t even put into words how badly they’re handling this from a marketing/PR perspective…

Trai

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Hi Trai,

System1 has a very professional marketing team. Perhaps they haven’t seen the inquiries and posts yet. Give them a bit more time. I’ll reach out to the brand manager to give her a “heads up.”

BTW I resigned. They didn’t “let me go.” Startpage was very good to me, and I will miss the old team I worked with for nearly 10 years.

Liz

I’m sorry. Completely my bad. We don’t want the wrong impression to get out there. :smile:

NP. Love you, Trai! :heart:

It appears there has been a revision in the language in the Startpage Knowledgebase article. It’s minor, but perhaps significant. I’ll upload the original 28 Sept 2019 post and the post that was updated today, 17 Oct 2019.

Here’s the image of the version posted today, 17 Oct.

“that is a separate operating unit” seems to be the addition

On ThinkPrivacy, I removed StartPage and StartMail until I can find out more. I would rather lean on the side of not recommending something bad and re-add it later if I am wrong.

In a case like this, I would personally recommend that PTIO does the same, because you don’t want to accidently suggest people give their data to company looking to exploit it.

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Just an update. After emailing Mr. Weingarten I received a reply from Jacqueline Dennington (who appears to be Startpage’s VP of Marketing).

No questions were answered, but I asked them for a comment on some more of the questions brought up by the Reddit community, and their thoughts on the Techrights article, as well as some other things of interest. So, I’ll keep you all posted I suppose.

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Hi Dan. I believe Startmail is a separate company and not associated with System1. You should reach out to Startmail separately with any questions: Support@Startmail.com Let me know if you find otherwise.

I still use my Startmail account and have been given assurances it remains completely private.

Note: I used to consult with Startpage (and some with Startmail), but resigned October 1.