Qwant Search Engine

(The current answers to criterias is my personal one, alongside the necessary text and ″proofs″ to answer those. I will extend that post later on, with more criterias, previous documentation about the service and company, and a simple personal Pro’s / Con’s)

Criteria check :

Specific Search-engine criterias :

Minimum Requirements

  • :white_check_mark: Must not collect personally identifiable information per their privacy policy.

Privacy policy - About Qwant

When you search on Qwant, we naturally receive your search terms, as well as the IP address of your computer or mobile device, and information about your browser (the “User Agent”). We use this data to process your inquiry and return your inquiry, as well as the corresponding answers. We pseudonymize what we need to keep for statistics and for transfer to our technology and business partners.

Qwant does not use ad tracking cookies or any other techniques to recognize you, store your search history, or track your internet browsing.

Processing of our users’ queries

To respond to the query by displaying results and ads matching your search, as well as for security and reliability purposes of its services (detection of spam, automated activity, fraudulent clicks on ads…), Qwant processes the following data:

– The entered keywords;

– Information about the browser you use (the User Agent);

– Session preferences information (if you use Qwant set up for the results in France and with the user interface in the French language, for example);

– A salted hash of the user’s IP address with the salt that changes ever three months at the latest (i.e. the result of a mathematical formula based on this IP address, not the IP address itself);

– The approximate geographic area of origin of the search at the scale of a region or a city (as deduced from the IP address)

Qwant retains for 7 days the keyword(s) entered associated with a pseudonym identifier calculated from the User Agent of your browser and the salted hash of your IP address. After this period, the keywords are no longer associated to an identifier and are retained for 12 months for aggregate statistical analysis (e.g. to know how many times a keyword is searched over a given period of time).

This processing is necessary for the performance of Qwant’s Terms of Use, on the basis of article 6.1.b of the GDPR (processing necessary for the performance of the contract between you and us), and meets Qwant’s legitimate interest (article 6.1.f of the GDPR) to secure and make its services reliable.

In order to provide you with relevant results from around the world when we do not have the answers to your queries by ourselves, we have partnered with Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited to provide a portion of our search results and provide contextual advertising based on the keywords entered and your geographic region.

To this end, Qwant may transfer to this partner the following pseudonymous data related to your query:

– The keywords of the search;

– Information about the browser you are using (the User Agent);

– The first three bytes of your IP address;

– The approximate geographical area from which the search originated, at the level of a region or city;

– The salt hash generated from your IP address, your User Agent and a salt that changes at the latest every 3 months;

– A random token generated by Qwant (aimed at limiting data overlap).

This processing is necessary for the performance of Qwant’s General Terms of Use, based on Article 6.1.b of the GDPR (processing necessary for the performance of the contract between you and us).

In addition, for purposes of security and reliability of our partner’s services (detection of spam, automated activity, fraudulent clicks on advertisements, etc.), Qwant may also collect and transfer to this partner your full IP address.

This processing is in the legitimate interest of Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited (article 6.1.f) to secure and make its services more reliable.

This data is transferred to this partner within the European Union, and may be retained in accordance with Bing’s Privacy Policy for a maximum period of 18 months.

  • :grey_question:Must not allow users to create an account with them.

Privacy policy - About Qwant

Management of registered users accounts

Qwant does not require you to register to use the search engine. However, you may wish to register to log in and personalize services. You are free to manage your account information (modify, correct, update and delete information).

In order to manage its users’ accounts and to send our newsletter (if you have chosen to subscribe), Qwant collects the following data:

Information about the user preferences (if you use Qwant set up for the results in France and with the user interface in the French language, for example);
Hash of your user password;
E-mail address of the user;
Optional data when entered by the user (name, firstname, city, website…)

This data is retained by Qwant for the duration of the existence of your user account in order to allow its proper functioning. They are then deleted after 7 days from the account deletion request. During this period, you have the possibility to reactivate your account using your initial login and password.

This processing is necessary for the performance of Qwant’s Terms of Use, on the basis of article 6.1.b of the GDPR (processing necessary for the performance of the contract between you and us).

Best Case

  • :x: Should be based on open-source software.

While the search engine in itself isn’t open, nor can be self-hosted, they do open their gecko-based phone applications, extensions and their OpenStreetMap service.

  • :white_check_mark: Should not block Tor exit node IP addresses.

Privacy policy - About Qwant

Qwant does its best to protect your privacy while you search, but you can take additional steps to protect your internet browsing. For example, you can use a service such as a virtual private network (VPN) or TOR relay service so that even Qwant does not have access to your real IP address.

HTML aka noJS captchas may be displayed when using Tor relays from my personal usage, but not that commonly.
In addition, they do offer a lite, no javascript version of their search engine via https://lite.qwant.com/ (They do proxy-redirect clicked results on those via their servers, however.)

Qwant was actually removed in this PR:Search engines revamp by tommytran732 · Pull Request #342 · privacyguides/privacyguides.org · GitHub

Oh, my bad. I actually did searched on the forum, and remembered it was previously removed from PrivacyGuides “Due to not being useful enough compared to other offers such as a DuckDuckGo which already make use of their results in their own web results” but i haven’t remembered to check on the source repo. I also thought to propose it, as DuckDuckGo had some backlash to sharing required user-data with Bing, which Qwant seemingly didn’t had suffered from, despite also profiting from Bing results. Qwant also have a specific in-depth privacy term with their relation with Bing and which data they share between them.

I can’t even find a place to register on Qwant, maybe this only applies to Qwant Junior?

Indeed, as researching per their support section, only list Qwant Junior as the only service, where you could register yourself.
This could have also applied to their previous method of account handling, which was since abandonned, called Masq Masq by Qwant — Wikipédia (No english translation of the Wikipedia article was done)
Indeed, this would qualify Qwant as not allowing you to create an account for most of their services. The usage of account for Qwant Junior is still optional as it allows the user to save preferences via the URL.

I honestly don’t see any reason why we should look into more search engines while Searx exists. It is legit all the search engines

I honestly don’t see any reason why we should look into more web browsers while the Tor Browser exists. It is legit the most private of all.

Joke aside, SearX does offer some bad points that could make someone, prefer using other ones, such as the features (Quick answers, Shopping/News integration and for Qwant, Music & Video Games info integrations), the need to give trust to a few or single individual instead of a company with legal obligations (You may say that you prefer an individual than a for-profit company to handle your data, but this goes for preventing any single-individual that could create a backdoor or breach their services for malicious intent), as well as constant maintenance, even if not self-hosting it (Public hosted instances aren’t maintained by people who are on it every hour of the day, some have other preoccupation and jobs).
Those elements also apply to plenties of other categories of services and applications listed on PrivacyGuides.

Either way, this argument should be reserved for its own thread, as it is out-of-topic there.

On a side note there was this article about the previous owner France’s Mr. Privacy turns cybersnooper – POLITICO.

The reason we removed it back in November 2021, was because their privacy policy indicated they did share some data with third parties.

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