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How to Use DuckDuckGo to Protect Your Privacy on Android

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There are dozens of privacy and anti-tracking extensions that you can add to your preferred desktop browser. But for a long time, prioritizing privacy has been a privilege limited to desktop users without Android.

As the average internet user surfs the internet and uses apps more than ever, privacy on smartphones is more important than ever. One brand that’s taking the need for privacy on Android seriously is DuckDuckGo.

So, what can installing the DuckDuckGo app on your phone do for your privacy?

What Is DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo is a privacy-oriented internet search engine and a desktop and Android browser. Founded in 2008, DuckDuckGo makes it its duty to eliminate personalized search results by showing only search-authentic results.

But while it started as an internet search engine, DuckDuckGo has been improving and evolving the privacy opportunities it offers its users. One of their latest ventures is protecting the privacy of Android device users beyond private searching.

Why You Need Privacy Protection on Android

Across all apps, from simple games to kill-time to Google, Facebook, and Instagram apps, your data is being tracked around the clock. According to DuckDuckGo, more than 96 percent of the popular and free Android apps contained concealed third-party trackers.

It’s often written in the terms and conditions that you have to agree to before even accessing to the app. Apps have been found to collect everything from your name, email address, and location to tracking your browser history, your health and fitness data, and, in some cases, financial information.

How Does DuckDuckGo Add Privacy to Your Android Device?

Third-party tracker-blocking became available for most updated iOS devices when Apple released their App Tracking and Transparency update in January of 2021. DuckDuckGo’s App Tracking Protection is modeled after Apple’s own technology.

App Tracking Protection isn’t a one-time tracking block. It remains active in the background and continuously blocks tracking attempts as you use your phone—and even as you sleep.

The feature uses on-device VPN to detect apps sending out data to third-party recipients. It’s important to note that the feature isn’t an actual VPN, but your device will recognize it as one.

Your data won’t be routed to an external server, like with actual VPNs. Instead, the entire process simply mimics a VPN right on your phone.

What to Expect From App Tracking Protection

The App Tracking Protection feature works directly from inside the DuckDuckGo browser app. You’ll have access to real-time data and summaries of the attempted tracking that DuckDuckGo blocked.

It’ll reveal what apps tried to collect data from you and when. It’ll also include information on the specific trackers within the apps, not just the app. Furthermore, App Tracking Protection will reveal where your data was going, from Google, Facebook, and Amazon to smaller and lesser-known data marketplace.

When Will It Be Ready?

While the feature has yet to be officially released and is still in Beta mode, DuckDuckGo is gradually introducing it to more users every week.

There isn’t a set date for a full release, but the fastest way to get access to the feature is by joining the waitlist. By the time you’re included, the feature will have evolved thanks to the feedback of other Beta users and testers.

To join the waitlist, simply download DuckDuckGo for Android if you haven’t already. Open Settings > Privacy > App Tracking Protection > Join the Private Waitlist.

Beta apps and features rely greatly on feedback from users. This is especially important for a feature that enhances and protects user privacy on their smartphone, where the majority of data and activity is.

Whether you experience some issues with the feature or have a suggestion, DuckDuckGo encourages you to message them and let them know. Doing so will help improve the final product.

Author: Anina is a freelance technology and internet security writer at MakeUseOf. She started writing in cybersecurity 3 years ago in hopes of making it more accessible to the average person. Keen on learning new things and a huge astronomy nerd.

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Why DuckDuckGo want Masses to Sap Chrome

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Why DuckDuckGo want Masses to Sap Chrome

The security of web surfers is a major issue, and it’s a legitimate one. Your personal information may be at risk because of a breach of privacy. As a result, it’s critical that large internet businesses like Google preserve your anonymity when you utilize their services. However, are the tech giant’s privacy pledges really real? DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, isn’t convinced. With its Threads and FLEDGE services, the private browser has accused the former of violating its customers’ privacy rights. DuckDuckGo is fighting Google over this, but why is that? Let see!

DuckDuckGo Has Accused Google of Reneging on Its Promise to Protect Users’ Privacy

The Search engine has accused Google of making false statements about the security of its Discussions as well as FLEDGE services. According to the post shared in the May of this year, the corporation slammed the latter for making false claims that its goods were more secure. In order to create a “more private web,” The Tech giant established its Security Sandbox in August of this year. Discussions and FLEDGE were introduced at the beginning of this year via the Sandbox once FLoC was discontinued due to considerable controversy.

The concept is that users have greater authority and visibility over their personal information since you may eliminate subjects you dislike or deactivate Topics altogether. When it comes to Google’s FLEDGE product, the company says it’s “built in a way that no other third-party application can leverage it to monitor user surfing activity between websites.” Google’s product promises are called out by DuckDuckGo, which suggests that their software is superior. However, there are a number of other methods available for ensuring your safety when surfing the web.

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Why This Fierce Rivalry?

Basically speaking, the former alleges that Google is misleading its consumers by claiming that Topics and FLEDGE are more secure than the latter’s Search because of this. For more information on these services, check out this blog post from the corporation: As a result, it claims that despite Google’s assurances of increased confidentiality, the company’s new services are really “creepy” and “privacy-invasive.”

Since these programs monitor your digital behavior and exchange your personal information with web pages and advertising without your permission, the firm considers this to be the case. – The overarching argument from the former is that your information isn’t secure until privacy is set as the preferred setting.

DuckDuckGo

To provide just one example, it claims Google’s justification that customers may eliminate Subjects they wouldn’t wish to be monitored for is codswallop since most users don’t alter their standard browsing options According to the report, Google’s “dark patterns” render it extremely tough for consumers to accomplish just that. DuckDuckGo claims that FLEDGE operates in the same way as third-party cookies. Ads may approach users on some other pages by requesting that Google classify and categorize them like a certain demographic.

The bottom line is that Google nonetheless sells your information to advertising and renders it difficult for users to modify the configuration to private. Ads may target and re-target your browsing history, which is one major and lingering concern.

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DuckDuckGo Disappoints Users: Trackers in Search

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DuckDuckGo sees itself as an anonymous alternative to Google. But the internal browser makes an exception for Microsoft tracking, which surprises many users. We explain to you what it is.

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DuckDuckGo Admits Allowing Microsoft Trackers in Its Browser

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The so-called privacy-centric search engine DuckDuckGo is said to have been allowing Microsoft ad trackers in its browser, which is contrary to its private browsing principles.

This was found by a security researcher, who noted DuckDuckGo’s browser for iOS and Android allows trackers from LinkedIn and Bing. Soon, DuckDuckGo’s CEO came up to explain that it’s an intentional allowance for Microsoft due to an agreement, which they’re trying to void.

Microsoft Trackers in DuckDuckGo Browser

Observing the web becoming filthy with trackers and cookies for targeted ads, companies like DuckDuckGo, Brave, etc., have risen to offer privacy-focused users a healthy alternative. DuckDuckGo, for example, promises to block all the trackers and cookies to avoid any interest-based advertising.

But to sustain, it shows contextual-based ads, which don’t need deeper tracking like what Chrome does. DuckDuckGo, in this case, relies on Bing search results to serve its own customers, thus will show any ads that come from Microsoft.

Though Microsoft tracks your IP address and other related information when clicking on an ad link, it does that for “accounting purposes” and not to profile users for advertising. And since DuckDuckGo uses the Bing engine, Microsoft slipped in a clause to let its trackers in DuckDuckGo’s mobile browsers.

This was proved by a security researcher named Zach Edwards, who discovered Microsoft trackers in DuckDuckGo’s iOS and Android clients. He found trackers related to the bing.com and linkedin.com domains while all other (like from Google, Facebook, etc.) trackers are blocked!

This raged the community as to why DuckDuckGo hid this information from users while boasting to be transparent about all its advertising plans. Soon, the platform’s CEO and founder Gabriel Weinberg came up to admit that it was an agreement with Microsoft to let their trackers in DuckDuckGo’s mobile browsers.

Explaining that it was a search syndication agreement with Microsoft, Weinberg’s team is working to remove this clause from their agreement. Further, “We’re also working on updates to our app store descriptions to have more information. Hope this is helpful context.”

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