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Gabriel Weinberg's answer to What is the revenue generation model for DuckDuckGo? - Quora

I’ve been using Duck Duck Go as my search engine for over a year now. While I occasionally need to go back to Google for things, most of the time the first result from Duck Duck Go has what I’m looking for.

This is a great overview about how tracking and advertising do not need to go hand in hand. Advertising without the invasive tracking is still very profitable, and I’m sure if companies like Google and Facebook wanted to, they could make it work, they chose not to.