Here at SearchScene, we take your privacy very seriously. Our default settings give you great privacy protection without compromising on speed or usability. However, you can modify your privacy settings within our user settings page.
SearchScene protects your privacy in many ways...
We collect aggregated, non personalised data, such as...
If you sign-in to your account on SearchScene, we also store:
We get our baseline search results from Microsoft Bing. This means that we have to share your search query with Bing in order to get the search results. We sometimes also show you search ads from Bing in order to monetise the site to raise money for charity. If ads are shown then your IP address is also shared with Bing. This is so that Bing can protect their advertisers from click fraud. However, in requesting ads from Bing, we set the ads to be non-personalised and we prevent Bing from setting or reading cookies on our site. This means that your ads will not be influenced by any of your previous searches and you will never find ads on other sites that are triggered by anything you've searched for on SearchScene. In short, you won't see any ads following you around the internet as a result of searching on SearchScene.
We sometimes request data from other parties to enhance your search experience, such as Wikipedia, IMDb, TMDb, Spotify, Goodreads, TripAdvisor, etc. This is almost always done anonymously by our server on your behalf. The only exceptions are as follows...
Wikipedia popups (desktop and laptop computers only): within our knowledge panels, we include lots of data from Wikipedia. If you hover your mouse pointer over a link within our knowledge panel, we often pop open a balloon to show you more information about that topic. This information is pulled dynamically from Wikipedia in real-time. This popup reveals your IP address to Wikipedia, just as if you were searching on Wikipedia directly, but, importantly, it does not reveal your search terms to Wikipedia. If this is a problem for you then you can switch these Wikipedia popups off within your settings page.
If you'd prefer to switch embedded videos off (for YouTube and other video sources), you can do so within our settings page. Instead of seeing an embedded video, you will then see a thumbnail image with a link to the third-party video source site (e.g. YouTube).
Image thumbnails: To make SearchScene as fast as possible, image thumbnails contained within the search results are downloaded directly to your browser from the image source site. The source site will usually be Bing, but may also include Wikipedia, IMDb (Internet Movie Database, for movie posters), TMDb (The Movie Database, for movie or TV posters and similar movies/actors), Goodreads (for book covers), Google Books (for book covers), Spotify (for album covers and similar artists, etc.), YouTube (for video thumbnails) and Tripadvisor (for thumbnail images of restaurants, hotels and visitor attractions).
When you download these thumbnail images directly from the source, the source site can see your IP address and user agent, but they cannot see your search terms.
You can sign-in to SearchScene via the heart-shaped charity-drop down box. This allows you to sync your search counter across devices and ensures that your search counter never gets reset. When you sign-in, we ask for your email address so we can send you a magic link to sign in. This method uses secure, password-free authentication. We store your email address on our secure servers in a hashed, encrypted format – not even we can see what your email address is. We store your search counter and charitable votes on our servers within your account. Your search queries themselves are not tied to your account – in fact, we don't store your searches at all. So the short answer is that signing-in has no effect on your privacy whatosever.
You can delete your account by clicking on the link to “Sign Out” and selecting “Delete my account” from the popup box that appears. If you delete your account, your email address, search counter and charitable votes will all be removed from our servers, but your local search counter will remain stored in a cookie and in local storage on your computer or device. You would need to delete your cookies and website data if you wanted to reset these to zero.
Cookies are tiny text files stored on your computer or mobile device. Cookies can be used for lots of things. Cookies can be used to track you across other sites (e.g. as used by Facebook or Google) or cookies can be used to store bits of data to remember your settings for future visits.
Our cookies are all about making your search experience better. None of our cookies track you or compromise your privacy in any way.
If you have wallpaper scenery enabled on your homepage, we store the next wallpaper scene within an area on your device called local storage. This is so that we can load it quickly when your browser requests it.
We also copy all our cookies to local storage. This is because the Firefox browser has a habit of routinely clearing cookies without the user's permission, which is a problem for us because we would then forget all your user settings. In order to prevent this from happening, we copy all your cookies to local storage. This doesn't compromise your privacy in any way.
If you want to clear all of SearchScene's data on your device, you will need to delete SearchScene's cookies and local storage content.
If you email us, we will store your email within our email client. This obviously includes your email address.
Sign in to SearchScene to synchronise your search counter and charitable tokens across all your devices. This also ensures that you will never lose your search counter, as it will be stored on our secure servers.