Recently, without much fanfare, long-heralded Anonymizer.com closed down their public and free anonymous browsing. While a scattering of sites remain, it was still a blow to privacy advocates who want to see tools readily available to protect your online identity – without shelling out money.

While not quite a full fledged search, both Microsoft and Ask.com have recently sought to capture some of the disillusioned by offering versions of their search engine that provide for anonymity. They are using this to drum up some PR and perhaps good will, by “encouraging” Google to do the same. Google recently stepped up their privacy guidelines, by making changes to cookie duration on their engine.

That isn't enough for some, who want a fully anonymous search:

“We think that we as an industry ought to take a look at ways to further enhance privacy protections,” said Microsoft Chief Privacy Strategist Peter Cullen. “We’re really trying to make sure that people always have the ability to have a trusted experience.”
They are also pointing the finger at AOL and Yahoo, asking them along with Google to “come together” and elaborate how privacy is dealt with. This could be interesting.