Privacy Policy

Your privacy is our mission – it is our reason for being.

We do not store or share your personal information or your searches, nor do we allow others to see or store your personal information.

Most regular search engines like Google store your IP address, user agent, search terms and log them along with a date and time stamp every time you perform a search. This not only allows your searches to be traced back to you, but it also allows all your searches to be tied together to perform a detailed profile of you. They use this information to better target their ads to you and make more money. They not only know what terms you searched for, but what ads you clicked on, what search results you clicked on, which images you viewed, which videos you watched and so on. If you're signed into Google with your Google account at the time then Google can also tie all this information directly to your account.

SearchScene is different. We respect your privacy and we do not track you – we do not store any personally identifiable information about you, nor do we store your search terms or any of your activity whilst on our site. Not only do we not know who you are,where you are or what you searched for, we don't know which ads or search results you clicked on, which images you viewed or which videos you watched. By acting as a proxy between you and the providers of our search results, we don't allow them to see any personally identifiable information about you either. Check out a full list of reasons why you should use SearchScene if online privacy is important to you.

Information NOT Collected

Unlike other major search engines, we DO NOT collect:

  • Your IP address
  • Your User Agent
  • Your location
  • The date and time of your search
  • The terms you searched for
  • The search results you clicked on
  • The ads you clicked on
  • The images you clicked on
  • The videos you clicked on
  • The news items you clicked on
  • Your preferences

Information collected

The only information we collect is an aggregate total of how many searches are performed on our site each day, so if you performed a web search, we would add one to our total count of web searches performed that day. If you performed an image search, we would add one to our total count of image searches performed that day. That's it! We do not store anything about you, your location or the terms you searched for.

Cookies & Local Storage

We need to store some information about your settings, such as which wallpaper images you prefer, what wallpaper screen resolution you use and other settings that you can set in the user settings page. This improves your search experience with SearchScene because you don't have to keep setting these things every time you visit our site. Because we don't collect or store any information about you on our servers (and because we need to store this information somehere) we store it on your device using harmless tiny text files called cookies and we also store some information in a local storage area on your device. This information is only accessible by yourself and our website. So if, for instance, you choose to view wallpaper images at HD resolution from the category "Seascapes" only, you've set all your search results to open in a new window and you've set your family filter to "Strict" within the settings page, then all of these preferences would be stored locally on your device.

It is important to note that, just as we do not store your search terms or search activity on our servers, we do not store this information on your device either – either in cookies or in local storage.

A complete list of the cookies we store and their description can be found on our cookie policy page.

A complete list of the data we store on your device's local storage is given in the table below...

wallpaperOn Whether you have set the home page wallpaper on/off
categories Media item categories available for the home page wallpaper images and videos
items Media items (images and videos) available for the home page wallpaper
categoryIds The media item categories currently selected in the home page sidebar filter
searchBox The position of the home page draggable search box
userImage The current user-provided home page image
pinnedItemId The current pinned home page image
loadVideos Whether to load videos as well as images for the home page wallpaper
loadHDImages Whether to load HD images for the home page wallpaper
loadQHDImages Whether to load QHD images for the home page wallpaper
The currently selected or detected user country code and 'market' value (e.g. en-GB)
ccFallbackUsed A value which records whether country code could not be detected automatically and has not been chosen manually
displayClock A user setting determining whether the home page clock should display
backgroundSize A user setting determining how the home page wallpaper image is displayed
Whether the 'Come Here Often?' home page message should be displayed, and when
animateImages Whether the home page wallpaper images should animate during transition
searchType The type of search you want to carry out (e.g. web, image)
searchSuggestions Whether to show search suggestions
safeSearch Bing search 'SafeSearch' setting (Off, Moderate, Strict)
freshness Bing search 'freshness' settings (Off, Day, Week, Month)
showSearchThumbnails Whether to show thumbnails in web search results
searchResultsPerPage How many search results should be returned per page (10, 20, 50)
searchOpenInNewWindow Whether search result links should open in a new browser tab/window
autoSuggest Whether to show autosuggestions in the search input
wikipediaSummaries Whether to show Wikipedia summaries as part of search results
searchVideoHover Whether video thumbnails should automatically play when possible on mouse cursor hover
searchVideoBehaviour How clicked video thumbnails in video search results should be treated (play here, leave, prompt)
searchVideoResolution A video search filter based on video resolution
searchVideoLength A video search filter based on video duration
searchVideoPricing A video search filter based on pricing
searchImageSize An image search filter based on image size
searchImageType An image search filter based on image type (e.g. Photo, Clipart)
searchImageColor An image search filter based on image color (e.g. ColorOnly, Monochrome)
searchImageAspect An image search filter based on image aspect (All, Square, Wide, Tall)
searchImageContent An image search filter based on image content (All, Face, Portrait)
searchImageLicense An image search filter based on image license (e.g. Public, Share)
searchNewsSortBy News search sorting (Relevance, Date)
searchNewsCategory Previous news search category selected
searchThumbProxyWeb Whether thumbnail images in web searches should be proxied via SearchScene's servers
searchThumbProxyImages Whether thumbnail images in image searches should be proxied via SearchScene's servers
searchThumbProxyVideos Whether thumbnail images in video searches should be proxied via SearchScene's servers
searchThumbProxyNews Whether thumbnail images in news searches should be proxied via SearchScene's servers
doubleProxy Whether proxied content served from SearchScene's servers should be downloaded via a further proxy server
proxyLocation For double proxying, this is the geographical location of the further proxy server
warnOnMobileProxyClick Whether to display a warning prompt when following a proxy link on mobile
warnOnMobileUnproxyClick Whether to display a warning prompt when unproxying a proxied page on mobile
cacheBust A value used to force reloading of fresh SearchScene resources such as images
A timestamp and image/video ID of your first visit used to calculate the ordering of home page wallpaper images
acceptedCookies Whether you have explicitly opted in to the use of cookies

POST Requests

We use POST requests by default for all your search queries. There is no way of changing this. This means that (unlike regular search engines) your search terms are always kept out of the URL address bar on your browser. This has a couple of knock-on effects:

  1. It prevents your ISP (Internet Service Provider) from logging your search terms, as they do not appear in the URL's query string. Our site uses the secure HTTPS protocol anyway, which would prevent this happening - but just in case, the fact that your search terms do not appear in the URL provides an extra layer of privacy protection against man-in-the-middle snooping.
  2. It prevents search leakage to any sites whose search results you click on. Most regular search engines will expose your search terms to any sites they refer you to via the HTTP Referer tag, which enables websites to see the full URL of the site that directed you to them. If your search engine's URL contains your search term, then your search terms can also be exposed to the website you visit after performing your search. By using POST requests and keeping your search terms out of the URL's query string, we avoid exposing your search terms to any site you visit as a result of clicking on any of our search results, even if you do not use our proxy service.

Email Addresses

We never collect or share email addresses.

Our Proxy Service

Next to our search results, you will find a link that reads "Open in Proxy". This allows you to open the website via our proxy, whereby our servers download the page first and then serve up the page to you. By acting as a proxy, we prevent the website you're visiting from seeing your IP address or any personally identifiable information about you. This maintains your privacy even when viewing third-party websites. This privacy policy also covers any websites you view via our proxy service.

The downsides of using our proxy service to view third-party websites is that the website will be slower to load (as we have to download it first, modify all the links, etc., and then serve it up to you), and all javascript and form functions are disabled for security and privacy reasons. Any videos on the site are also disabled for reasons of performance.

Information Shared with Third-Parties

We must forward your search terms on to Bing, Wikipedia and any other search results providers that we use in order to download the search results, which we then serve up to you. There is just no getting around that, because we need to get the search results from somewhere. These sites may then store and log your search terms in accordance with their own privacy policies. However, the important point to note here, is that by acting as a proxy between you and the search results provider (e.g. Bing), we prevent the third-party search results provider from seeing your IP address, your user agent or any other personally identifiable information about you. Your search is sent to us, we forward your search on to our search results provider and all they can see is the IP address of our server that is making the search request and acting as a proxy on your behalf. You will always remain invisible to all third-party search results providers that we use to obtain your search results.

As with all websites, we must comply with any court order (from any court that has jurisdiction over us) demanding that we hand over our logs. However, since we do not log your searches and we do not log any personally identifiable information (IP address, user agent, etc.) there is really nothing for us to hand over.