While the U.S. government is working to tighten its grip over citizens’ personal privacy, Europe’s new policy regulations are hoping to do the opposite.
Last month, the French National Assembly announced that they would no longer use Google. Instead, all French government devices will soon adopt the privacy-focused Qwant as their default search engine.
Worried that they were opening themselves to too much outside surveillance, the French government is making the switch in an effort to protect their privacy (and devices) from Google’s—and, inevitably the U.S. government’s—comprehensive data-retention policies.
Florian Bachelier, a member of France’s cybersecurity and digital sovereignty task-force, urged members of his party to take a stance. “We have to set the example,” Bachelier said. “Security and digital sovereignty are at stake here, which is anything but an issue only for geeks.”
What is Qwant?
Founded in 2013, Qwant is an encrypted search engine that functions the same way as Google but doesn’t keep logs. The independent search engine puts a heavy emphasis on user privacy, and in turn has grown exponentially.
In fact, with an estimated average of 21 million monthly searches, Qwant has more than doubled its traffic in a single year. Keep in mind, though, that Google averages roughly 3.5