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Reputation.com: Apple could revolutionize privacy

Apple's decision to embed the "anti-Google" search engine DuckDuckGo as an option in its Safari browser could be a "hugely disruptive" solution to internet privacy, the chief executive of Reputation.com has said.

Michael Fertik, CEO of the online "reputation product," which helps consumers and businesses protect their privacy and data online, said the likes of Apple had a "lot less to lose" than Google or Facebook as concerns about online data protection heighten following the National Security Agency leaks from Edward Snowden.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook walks off stage after speaking during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West center on June 2, 2014 in San Francisco.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook walks off stage after speaking during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West center on June 2, 2014 in San Francisco.

Last week, Apple announced at its annual developer conference it would include the "first privacy-focused search engine" DuckDuckGo as a search option in all future versions of its operating system.

Unlike other search engines, DuckDuckGo does not track its users' searches, and advertising on the site is based only on keywords rather than past searches. This means that firms have less historical data on individuals.

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In an interview that can be seen in full this Friday on Investing Edge, Fertik said he hoped Apple's move showed they were taking the online privacy issue seriously.

"I think if you're running a company like Apple or Microsoft or an Intuit or an Amazon there's usually huge revenue but most of that revenue is not from advertising, then you have a lot less to lose than a Google or a Facebook which are basically advertising businesses in terms of their revenue," Fertik told CNBC.

"Apple could really have a hugely disruptive and I think constructive market based solution to the privacy concern," he added.

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Compared to search giant Google, DuckDuckGo is still tiny, with daily searches amounting to just 5 million compared to Google's 5.9 billion according to data site Statistic Brain. But Apple's decision to include the engine in its software is set to boost numbers significantly.

Fertik also said the European Union ruling that enables people to have their private information removed from Google's link structure removed was "major".

"It doesn't mean that the content goes away from the blog to which Google was pointing to the link, it just means the link from Google goes away. That's a very powerful ruling," he said.

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