Privacy-Respecting Alternatives to Popular Services

User nikitavoloboev on GitHub created a Curated List of Privacy-Respecting Services and Software, which provides some alternatives to popular search engines, social networks, messengers, and other products. The irony is that GitHub is now owned by Microsoft, but this list may have predated the acquisition by them. Regardless, the list is informative and may offer some good choices to those of you who are tired of using services provided by Google, Apple, etc.

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As an example, under search engines, it illustrates:

You are the product:

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Yandex (Russia’s version of Google)
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Yandex search engine

Alternatives listed here are:

As mentioned on several earlier posts like DuckDuckGo is Not a Dark Web Search Engine (Revisited!), DuckDuckGo is a privacy-respecting search engine that doesn’t track you based on your searches or activity. Searx is slightly different, in that it’s an open source “hackable” metasearch engine, with a number of different instances, such as searchx.mobi, stuxos.com, and search.privacytools.io; “instances” are various search engines that use the searx source code.

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stuxOS search engine

Under social networks, “You are the product” lists:

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Alternatives include:

Mastodon, as mentioned on some previous posts, is a community owned social network that’s part of the larger network known as the “fediverse.” Mastodon uses the ActivityPub standard, which most of the fediverse platforms, like Pleroma and PeerTube, also use. More posts will be written about these in the future.

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While not every item on the list will be discussed here, you can look at the GitHub page and peruse the various choices to see if they fit you. Some of the other interesting items on the page include:

Honestly, each alternative shared here could comprise a blog post in and of itself, so that may appear here in the future. There is some debate over which of these platforms are the best, but that always tends to happen with software and operating systems. What are you favorite privacy-respecting services and software?

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