DuckDuckGo will block more Microsoft tracking scripts

DuckDuckGothe privacy-focused search engine, announced August 5 that it will start blocking third-party Microsoft tracking scripts in its browser apps and browser extensions next week. DuckDuckGo said its beta apps will also begin blocking these third-party tracking scripts sometime next month.

Read more: DuckDuckGo launches its first Mac browser in beta

The search engine has positioned itself as a alternative to other search engines, such as Google Search. The big difference between the two is that DuckDuckGo blocks third-party tracking scripts and cookies from tracking you around the web.

However, in May, DuckDuckGo came under fire after Microsoft tracking scripts were discovered while using DuckDuckGo’s browsers.

“We were limited in how we could apply our third-party tracker loading protection on Microsoft tracking scripts due to a policy requirement related to our use of Bing as the source for our private search results,” wrote DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg in a blog post. “We’re glad that’s no longer the case. We haven’t had, and don’t have, a similar limitation with any other company.”

DuckDuckGo’s Third-party tracker upload protection already blocks tracking scripts from companies such as Facebook and Google. DuckDuckGo said it already blocks most Microsoft tracking scripts and restricts Microsoft tracking through other protections, including blocking Microsoft third-party cookies in DuckDuckGo browsers.

DuckDuckGo also announced that Microsoft has engaged not to profile DuckDuckGo users on ad clicks. Advertising on DuckDuckGo is part of the company’s partnership with Microsoft.

“When you click on an ad provided by Microsoft that appears on DuckDuckGo, Microsoft Advertising does not associate your ad click behavior with a user profile,” DuckDuckGo writes on its website. “It also does not store or share this information other than for accounting purposes.”

DuckDuckGo notes that some advertisers use Microsoft scripts to see in Microsoft Advertising how often an ad click results in a purchase. Although third-party tracker loading protection does not prevent these requests from loading on the advertisers’ website, they are blocked in all other contexts. You can disable ads in DuckDuckGo in search settings, and viewing ads in DuckDuckGo is anonymous.

DuckDuckGo also unveiled a new webpage which explains what protections DuckDuckGo provides across all of its products. DuckDuckGo publicly released directories of what is and is not blocked when using browsers. Users can report any issues they see with directories by emailing [email protected]

You can download DuckDuckGo’s Android and iOS mobile apps from the Google Play Store or the App store.

To learn more about privacy, see what you need to know about DuckDuckGo and why you should switch to DuckDuckGo.


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