Was StartPage making these requests before?

There appears to be some sort of tracking going on. Was this already in place? These image files are those like you’d see in emails, to track you. I’m not sure what are the intentions of these images, except probably tracking.


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I’ve just tested Duckduckgo (Onion URL, to be specific), and it also has a 1x1 gif.

Edit: Upon further inspection, I found this in relation to the 1x1 pixel for Duckduckgo. The fourth paragraph goes into detail:

I’ve come across some more information.

The two requests from your screenshot that start with “elp?” and “pelp?” (7th and 8th from the bottom) contain information of your timezone (&tzo), time on your machine (&ct, assuming EPOCH time?) and your screen dimensions (&uh and &uw).

This information can be found from one of their js files: https://www.startpage.com/assets/js/util.js?v=36b98955
(Key point of interest here is the __setPayload function)

Since I cannot see the rest of your request, I decided to test it on myself. There are a few more parameters: &pt and &nc, which are not in the linked startpage javascript file.

There is also another javascript file that runs, but it is minified. I will try to see if I can find anything here.

In order to avoid this information being sent, you must browse startpage without javascript, because when I tested it without javascript, those parameters were not filled in.