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DuckDuckGo CEO testifies: Privacy legislation isn’t ‘anti-advertising’

March 12, 2019 / Greg Sterling

DuckDuckGo Founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg testified Tuesday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee on online privacy. The committee was holding a hearing on GDPR, CCPA and potential U.S. privacy legislation. Contextual targeting vs. behavioral advertising. In prepared remarks Weinberg argued that “privacy legislation is not anti-advertising” and cited DuckDuckGo as an example. The company serves old-school contextual search ads that don’t rely on personal data and don’t retarget consumers. He said that the company has “been profitable using contextual advertising since 2014, and last year we earned substantially more than the $25 million revenue floor that subjects a company to CCPA.” Weinberg speculated that returning to contextual ads “would allow companies to remain profitable, or even become more profitable – all without the unintended consequences of behavioral advertising