Hi @jonah @danarel. I don’t understand why Startpage/System1 won’t just tell everyone how much System1 bought of Startpage in December 2018 and how much it owns today. It’s a really simple question.

Why the continuing evasiveness? Here are the only logical explanations (theories) I’ve heard:

  • Maybe Startpage/System1 is concerned that buying most or all of Startpage would alert consumers it is subject it to U.S. laws?

  • Maybe they’d no longer be able to claim they are “Dutch” ?

  • Maybe they’re concerned that it will show that System1 has overwhelming control over the company?

Note that by comparison, Qwant publishes the percent of ownership of any major shareholder – in its press kit. (I’m not recommending Qwant, just showing how this is not seen as an outlandish information request – and even seen as important public information.)

NOTE: I really hope Startpage steps up and answers all questions. I LOVED the search and used it all the time. I’m also hoping I am not subject to retaliation for standing firm on my convictions.


I am seeking a wealth of Google search results while maintaining privacy. I often look at, but StartPage was on the site before, but it’s gone now. Is Startpage dangerous? And if so, please tell us about a search engine that specializes in privacy while having great Google search results! !

See Delisting

Hi @jonah . Thanks for sharing that letter. Could you email me the letter you sent to Startpage so I can better respond?

It’s been a LONG road to getting Startpage answers, but we’ve gotten many more of them.

I’ve tried to go back to some of the original posts here and in the privacy threads to add updates to show new information that Startpage has shared. We still don’t have everything we’d like to know, like how much System1 owns of Startpage, but we have a much clearer picture.

It’s up to the PTIO community to decide if it will accept partial answers from any company it questions – if the community decides it’s important to move forward with standard questions to ask ALL privacy companies.

Whatever the decision, I believe it is critically important to have some kind of checklist/criteria and a process for determining which services should be recommended and which ones should be de-listed. This is the only way PTIO will not only be fair, but be perceived as fair, in its recommendations. I believe for the sake of transparency, all the criteria/checklists/questions and answers (or non answers) should be documented for the public so consumers can make their own educated decisions.

I also believe services should be revisited at least annually or when there are changes detected in a service, like a VC investment or change in privacy policy.

:turkey: Have a wonderful Thanksgiving to my U.S. friends! :turkey:

I really disagree with this decision. When it comes to a publicly-hosted search engine, there’s always an element of trust. I trust Startpage because it has been audited and has been an active contributor to internet security and user privacy for a long time.

Unlike many other companies which have gone through similar changes, Startpage has been very transparent in addressing user questions, even answering things which most companies wouldn’t (like questions about their amounts of ownership).

What a lot of people who have commented on this don’t seem to understand is that this is an investment, not an acquisition. That means that most likely it’s Startpage the company which gets the money, not the current owners. The money goes into the company to grow the company, and the current owners have their ownership diluted to make that happen. So it’s not like the owners are selling their stock and cashing out for personal gain. They are most likely diluting and having less ownership in exchange for the whole company to benefit from the investment.

Also, a lot of people also don’t seem to understand that just because someone is the majority owner in a company that does not mean they have control. It depends on the contracts and company charter and bylaws. The CEO said that under the investment contract he retains control of all privacy-related decisions. So do you trust him? If not, then you never should have used Startpage, even before this news. If you do, then why stop?

This may not convince anybody to change their mind, but it’s a shame that this company which has done such good work for users is being dragged through the mud.

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I switched to DDG and I am happy so far.

The one thing that bothers me about DDG is that it doesn’t have image-search.
I used DDG for a while when trying to degoogle and was amazed about how much I apparently used that. StartPage does have an Image-Search,

So you mean reverse image search where you can search by uploading an image?

No, I’d wish… I have not seen that anywhere else than on Google.
I meant just the searching for images.

TinEye, SauceNao, and the QISS Qwant experiment ( are other alternatives to the G image search engine.


Sweet! Thanks!

The one thing that bothers me about DDG is that it doesn’t have image-search

DDG in browser shows me image search results.

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But you can’t search images directly. That what Xzenor was looking.

You could always bookmark a generic image search, although it would be a fingerprint.

Actually, what I was using was DDG as the default search for Firefox. When searching from the addressbar it did not give me any images. So after your comments I looked into int a bit more and the DDG website does give images… So I searched a bit more and Firefox gave me the option for 2 DDG search engines. regular DDH and DDG HTTP. I was using the later one.
The first one actually does give image results :+1:

So thanks for pointing this out. I would never have searched any further if it wasn’t for your comment.

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You can also use Duck Duck Go in w3m as well. I frequently use it as a privacy respecting search engine in Asagi, an AI sequencing narrow AI I’m developing. includes relevant information but for anyone who might have missed this commentary in the Startpage area: