What about Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

On 10 December 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris. On this occasion, the UN described this "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms". With these few words, the States agreed that the Universal Declaration was not an outcome but rather the blueprint for an ongoing process, the ideal to be achieved in which we all must participate. This is why Qwant, as a search engine aware of this responsibility, ensures that the rights and freedoms proclaimed by this Declaration also have a tangible reality on the Internet. This is an objective that constantly guides our choices and actions.

When, in Article 12 of the Declaration, the drafters wrote that "no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence", they probably could not have imagined that half a century later it would be businesses that would become the main concern in this area.

This extreme intrusion into our private lives

The democratization of Internet access for individuals only began a little more than twenty years ago, that is to say hardly yesterday in the history of our civilizations. Twenty years later, we are already experiencing an extremely high level of intrusion into our private lives.

Let's barely force the line: in 2020, there's not a piece of music we can listen to, not a piece of information we can exchange, not a political speech we can watch, not a cooking recipe we can read, not a message we can write, not a place we can go, not a single thing we can buy... without a private company noticing it, noting it, archiving it. The observation of our every move, and the willingness to draw inferences about who we are and what motivates us, are part of a daily life that only science fiction dared to imagine. Today, the collection and cross-referencing of our personal data is a science that no longer has anything to do with fiction.

Qwant's conviction and determination

But we at Qwant are convinced that many citizens have become aware of the risks involved in such massive profiling, and want to use digital services that better respect their fundamental right to privacy. This is also our wish, as Internet users ourselves. This is why we have chosen not to collect data that is not strictly necessary to provide the search results you expect. We refuse to collect your search history and analyse it to derive a consumer profile in which we would lock you up.

We believe that the freedom to search for information is only real if you know that you can search without being observed and judged on your searches. You must be able to use a search engine in the same way that you anonymously enter a library to read a book. What you read, what you search for, is none of our business.

This is an essential condition of democratic life, which is only possible if citizens can inform themselves freely, and therefore if their right to privacy is respected. Qwant will always ensure this, with conviction and determination: Article 12? Yes, always!