I finally made the switch to Brave desktop yesterday. It's been what I've been using on mobile for awhile.
I'll be giving DDG another go.
After this and the Chinese search engine, I'm looking to de-Google my life. I wish there was a good gmail replacement. I might just have to finally spin up my own server.
Logging into a browser with email reminds me of AOL.
Yeah, its always opt out at first.
Google has shown their true colors over and over again. Where they really messed up is not making it opt out in the first place. That seems to be the winning strategy. Make a change that will be unpopular with the privacy aware crowd, add an opt out option to appease them while default is opt in for those that dont know any better. Then after people have forgotten/moved on, remove the opt out and you have the new normal.
Edit: for email you might want to check out FastMail. You pay for the service so you're not the customer, and you can use your own domain or one of theirs.