Kiel, January 28th, 2009
EuroPriSe today announces the recertification of the search engine Ixquick.com (www.ixquick.com) just in time for the Data Privacy Day. Ixquick.com stopped recording users’ IP-addresses as a rule and takes up a leading role in web search.
Data protection in the Internet is still not a matter of course. The data greediness of service providers remains huge. While searching the Internet, search engines register the time of search, the terms used, the sites visited and the IP address. Small files, so calledcookies are placed on the users’computer collecting behavioural and preference data about the user. The collected data serves to generate user profiles. The IP-address makes it possible to trace the computer, and may even reveal the household, that carried out the search.
In July 2008 the meta-search engine Ixquick.com gained the first European Privacy Seal (https://www.european-privacy-seal.eu/press-room/press-releases/20080714-europrise-press-release-en.html). Previously Ixquick.com deleted privacy details of its users after 48 hours. Recertification became necessary when the company strived to enhance its privacy friendly service further and reduced the retention time for IP-addresses down to zero. For recertification the EuroPriSe-evaluator checked the underlying technical solution and rated Ixquick’s data minimization “excellent”. The evaluation report was verified by the data protection authority of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection (ULD). In EuroPriSe, ULD carries out the task of an independent certification body. The short public report on Ixquick is available on the Internet at https://www.european-privacy-seal.eu/awarded-seals/de-080001p/.
“We are especially happy to recertify Ixquick.com and its zero-data retention policy in EuroPriSe because it implies substantial changes to improve people’s privacy” says Dr. Thilo Weichert, Data Protection Commissioner of Schleswig-Holstein and head of ULD.
“EuroPriSe rewards privacy friendly solutions. With Ixquick non-storage of IP addresses, the waiver of tracking cookies and the implementation of a hash mechanism guarantees fair use of user data”explains project manager Kirsten Bock.
EuroPriSe is offered by the Data Protection Authority of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany (Independent Centre for Privacy Protection Schleswig-Holstein (ICPP/ULD)). Under the EuroPriSe scheme, IT products and IT-based services are audited in order to see if they can be certified as compliant with demanding European regulations on privacy and data security. EuroPriSe uses a quality-assured procedure: an evaluation of the product or service by trusted legal and IT experts, checked by an independent and impartial certification body.
EuroPriSe started as a project funded by the European Commission’s eTEN programme with 1.2 million EUR and is implemented by a consortium of nine organisations under the leadership of ULD with partners from eight European countries including the data protection authorities from Madrid (Agencia de Protección de Datos de la Communidad de Madrid, APDCM) and France (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et de Libertés, CNIL), the Austrian Academy of Science, London Metropolitan University from the UK, Borking Consultancy from the Netherlands, Ernst and Young AB from Sweden, TÜV Informationstechnik GmbH from Germany, and VaF s.r.o. from Slovakia. From March 2009 onwards EuroPriSe will be offered permanently by ULD.
Further information is available on the Internet at www.european-privacy-seal.eu.
For further press inquiries, please contact:
Unabhängiges Landeszentrum für Datenschutz Schleswig-Holstein (ULD)
Holstenstr. 98, 24103 Kiel, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)431 988-1200, Fax: -1223