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DuckDuckGo further restricts tracking after criticism

DuckDuckGo now blocks further third-party tracking scripts such as Microsoft. In May, there was too much criticism for DuckDuckGo allowing tracking for Microsoft, Bing, and LinkedIn. At the time, it was a bit of a shock when DuckDuckGo, which focuses entirely on data protection, had to admit that it hadn’t blocked the company’s tractors because of an agreement with Microsoft over syndicated search content. Users had assumed completely different circumstances. According to the description of the DuckDuckGo browser, hidden trackers on websites should actually be blocked.

DuckDuckGo has now announced that they have responded to the concerns and have found a solution. It has now started blocking all third-party tracking scripts, such as Microsoft in its DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser mobile (iOS/Android) and DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials browser extensions (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera). “I recently heard from a number of users and I understand that we have not met their expectations with regard to any of our browser’s web tracking protections, so today we are announcing more privacy and transparency around DuckDuckGo’s web tracking protection,” said a statement. Announcement by DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg.

More transparency

Weinberg also wants to increase transparency around web tracking security features. That’s why one special help page set and a list of blocked trackers on GitHub were published. Microsoft trackers are blocked with the “Protection against loading third-party trackers” feature. DuckDuckGo will according to the BleepingComputer Block scripts from the following 21 URLs:

New block list

  • adnxs.com
  • adnxs-easy.de
  • adsymptotic.com
  • adv-cloudfilse.azureedge.net
  • app-fnsp-matomo-analytics-prod.azurewebsites.net
  • azure.de
  • azure.net
  • bing.de
  • cdnnwlive.azureedge.net
  • clarity.ms
  • dynamic.de
  • fp-cdn.azureedge.net
  • licdn.com
  • linkedin.de
  • live-tfs-omnilytics.azurewebsites.net
  • msecnd.net
  • nlo-stl-web.azureedge.net
  • nuance.de
  • pestcontrol-uc1.azureedge.net
  • sdtagging.azureedge.net
  • serviceshipotlecom.trafficmanager.net

However, there is still an exception for the ads that Microsoft displays on Bing. However, the tracking is limited, explains DuckDuckGo: “Microsoft has committed not to create user profiles about ad clicks: “If you click on a Microsoft ad that appears on DuckDuckGo, Microsoft Advertising will not associate your click behavior with a user profile.

This information is also not stored or passed on, except for billing purposes.” However, for this advertising, they intend to switch to other solutions later, which are more privacy-oriented. Firefox and Safari will receive such changes in the data protection advertising. Thank you for that.