I feel that many Zorin OS users are concerned about security and privacy, as I am. But nothing is perfect. I continue to use DuckDuckGo knowing that there are many criticisms of it, because DDG is free of obnoxious ads, has satisfying search quality and supports my native language, Japanese. I make the same compromise with Firefox.
I don't demand perfection from Zorin OS either. I hope it will be better.
I've been using DDG for years and never had any problems with it .... as far as supposedly having security and privacy issues I have a tendency to believe what they say as apposed to others .... remember when people slam other big tech companies by telling the truth about how crooked they are they go crazy and publish all kinds of BS about them .... ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned ’ is a miss statement ..... it should read "Hell hath no fury like Big Tech scorned" ....
Look what they do to Vivaldi .... if you try to download it from some other browsers you get redirected .... told that it is unsafe to use and M$ loves to tell you it has a false signature and can't be downloaded .... all these things point to a successful business that Big Tech doesn't like cause it cuts into their pie ....
Don't pay heed to the criticisms. The only real criticism I have heard is that they have started filtering sites that spread "disinformation" about recent political events (Russia-Ukraine-war). I see nothing wrong with that.
I would argue that most GNU/Linux users are grown up enough to decide for themselves without the need for searches being filtered. Besides the real truth behind all the conflicts is not in the main stream on either side.
I agree with you, that sites shouldn't be filtered and that it is mostly best that the decision, of what is right, is left to the user. However, I don't see anything wrong if only sites that spread "disinformation" are filtered. I mean we all must agree that search engines have had a long history of political influence on its users and how fake news has affected politics around the world. Basically what I am saying is that filtering sites is wrong as long as the sites that are filtered are responsible for spreading wrong information especially when it comes to politics.
Full disclosure: I use google and yes it does personalize my searches and shows me things that have been personalized for me i.e I am not seeing the same results as others. And this may also have political influence on me. But I am a man with no politics so its not really an issue for me.
Plus, I would love to try out other search engines, but the problem is most of them are not very useful like google, because they have not matured in my country yet. Except for brave search, which gives the best among the others but still not as good as google. I will consider switching to brave when it gets better though.