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The answer for me is a resoundingly definitive NO! And I don't want to. I am deeply hooked into the Google ecosystem from Chrome OS and Android to Chromecast and a huge collection of their services. And I must admit I thoroughly enjoy having access to and using them even with the knowledge that Google uses them to collect a lot of data about me. That said, I feel that Google really does do a good job of letting me know when and how it is collecting my data as well as how they use it. Do I trust them 100%? No. There are certain things that I do take precautions to protect, be it encrypting certain documents I store in the cloud, using a vpn and incognito mode when appropriate, as well as using services, apps, and backups from other providers. In the end though, when all is said and done, I cannot think of one single thing that Google has done to harm me in any tangible way.
'''jeannot52:''' SweetIM is a totally different, but seemingly as invasive, pest. You can "Google" it to get information. Removal of "Default Tab" is the key in ridding your system of the culprit that installs the "Search here" tab as posted by the OP, '''''bd67807'''''. Be careful when downloading and installing applications/add-ons from the internet as some include such extra items. Most, but not all, will give the user an opportunity during installation to un-check items to not install or to not change search engines. The add-ons on the Firefox/Mozilla add-ons site are fairly clean from this kind of pest. *https://addons.mozilla.org/
For real I can't see alternative for Google. If you are smart enough you can use Google without giving them too much data about yourself. Just use incognito mode in chrome, change applications permissions at your phone, etc. Use it smart. Of course you can't hide all informations about yourself but you don't need to login as Adam Smith, use nickname, turn off GPS if it's not necessary.
Admittedly, I do use Chrome, so naturally Google Search, but I nonetheless agree that Google knows far too much about us all. That's partly why I don't put too much through Gmail/calendar/all that jazz. I should probably give DuckDuckGo a try though. For now, and I'm sure this is the same for much of the population, I'm programmed to automatically go to Google.
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