How to 'Divorce' Google

One year on, Tom Henderson reveals how it's going for him

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 2, 2013 1:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – When Google's controversial privacy policy went live, Tom Henderson "divorced" the company. A year later, he writes in ITworld, things are going just fine. "I'm in a much happier place. It can be done." Here's how he did it:

  • He uses the DuckDuckGo search engine, and occasionally Yahoo.
  • He has his own email server, but also uses Yahoo's mail service.
  • For maps, he prefers Yahoo, but Mapquest works, too. He eschews GPS entirely.
  • Unfortunately, there's no real replacement for YouTube. But he uses Spotify for music and Vimeo for videos, and sometimes searches for videos on other sites.
  • For images, he uses Flickr and Shutterfly, with his privacy settings locked down.
  • For social networking: Facebook for friends and family, LinkedIn for everyone else, and occasionally Twitter.
  • Babelfish works for translation.
  • He's not big on apps or digital books, but Amazon works as an app retailer.

While using these alternate services, he always pays careful attention to terms of service and privacy policies, blocking scripts, and erasing cookies as he goes. "Google and SEO and tracking have soiled the web in unbelievable ways," Henderson writes. Online data gathering has become "pervasive," and "Terms of Service privacy invasion and data sharing are now so wide-spread and out-in-the-open." The only way to change that is to starve companies like Google of fuel, aka our personal information. Click for Henderson's full column.

In this 2012 photo, a Google logo is displayed at the headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
In this 2012 photo, a Google logo is displayed at the headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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