October 1, 2022

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DuckDuckGo privacy protection does not block Microsoft trackers

3 min read

DuckDuckGo privacy protection does not block Microsoft trackers



DuckDuckGo privacy protection does not block Microsoft trackers

DuckDuckGo was originally just a search engine, and its main feature was to protect user privacy, promising not to track or record user searches and behaviors during searches.

Since then, DuckDuckGo has expanded its product lineup, launching extensions for browsers such as Chrome and Firefox, as well as its own browsers (currently available for iOS, Android, and Mac), all of which emphasize the protection of user privacy by these products.

However, it is such a company that pays great attention to user privacy recently “overturned”.

Security researcher Zach Edwards tweeted on his personal social media that during a security audit of the DuckDuckGo browser, he found that although the DuckDuckGo browser blocked Google and Facebook trackers, it allowed Microsoft trackers to continue to run.

I tested DuckDuckGo’s so-called privacy browser for iOS and Android, and neither version blocked data transfer to Microsoft’s Linkedin + Bing ads.

Therefore, Microsoft can collect user information through trackers and display advertisements related to user interests on the browser.

DuckDuckGo privacy protection does not block Microsoft trackers

Responding to a question from security researcher Zach Edwards about the issue, DuckDuckGo CEO and founder Gabriel Weinberg confirmed that their browser intentionally allows Microsoft to track third-party websites thanks to a search syndication deal with Microsoft.

We block most third-party trackers. But our joint agreement with Microsoft Search prevents us from doing more with Microsoft-owned properties.

As events unfolded, Weinberg added that they were working to remove the restriction from the agreement.

However, Weinberg also made it clear that the agreement only affects their browsers, not the DuckDuckGo search engine.

Tracking is tracking

DuckDuckGo also tweeted two weeks ago , attacking Google’s “Topics” and “FLEDGE” tracking methods. In a tweet, DuckDuckGo said: “Google says they (Topics and FLEDGE) are better for privacy, but the simple truth is that tracking is tracking, whatever you want to call it.” Now this sentence has been reflected in himself.

DuckDuckGo privacy protection does not block Microsoft trackers

DuckDuckGo’s revenue comes primarily from advertising, including search engine ads delivered through Microsoft’s online advertising platform.

According to the official introduction, when consumers click on an ad, Microsoft will not link the ad click behavior with user information.

As of June last year, DuckDuckGo has annual revenue of more than $100 million, its app has been downloaded more than 50 million times in the past year, and its search engine has between 70 million and 100 million users.



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