IxQuick was brought up during the #hcsm chat tonight specifically in
reaction to the strong privacy concerns felt by the healthcare
community about Google’s Buzz. Evidently, in the initial release of
Google Buzz, with that initial problem with the default set to reveal
personal on who you chat with? Well, at least one doctor who email’s
patients from his GMail account discovered that Google had made
available his patient list. Uh, oops?
In light of the
recent video by Google’s CEO stating that "secrets are for filthy
people", the privacy snafu was interpreted as being intentional and
purposeful by Google, AND this led to the logical conclusion that
Google has an attitude toward healthcare information that makes them
unsuitable for keeping any healthcare information, including personal
emails. Be aware of the issue, and remember it is your choice to use
them or not. A number of the clinicians in the group are in the
process of disentangling themselves from Google-dependency. For me,
well, I’m not a clinician, it is part of my job to be transparent
online, and I am reserving judgment.
So, IxQuick? Well, they claim offer the most secure searching
experience available, mostly through not keeping any IP information.
"On July 14th, 2008 Ixquick was awarded the first European Privacy
Seal. Ixquick is now the first and only EU-approved search engine."
This reminds me of when the FBI started asking for library borrowing
records and libraries responded by creating new systems that destroyed
borrowing item information as soon as the item is returned. Nice.
IxQuick does a few other things, too. They are a meta-search engine,
meaning they push your search out to other major search engines and
then bring back the results from them. They give stars based on how
many search engines agree that a particular result is top notch.
My favorite feature for IxQuick is their "Universal Power Search."
This allows you to use advanced searching features for one search
engine (theirs) but then have those parsed into the native query
language of the target search engines, without *you* needing to know
what those might be. Whether for privacy or not, the Universal Search
is really really interesting to me. I am going to have to be
checking out IxQuick.