DuckDuckGo search engine launches new tool to prevent apps from tracking Android users

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Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo is releasing “App Tracking Protection for Android” in beta, a new feature that will block third-party trackers like Google and Facebook that lurk in other apps.

These hidden app trackers are creepy because they can track everything you do in an app and can also continue to track you even when you are not using the app.

“Many of these trackers are designed to record your activity in real time: where you are, what you’re doing, where you’ve been and even how many hours you sleep at night,” the search engine said in an article by blog.

Over 96% of the popular free Android apps DuckDuckGo tested contained hidden third-party trackers. Of these, 87% sent data to Google and 68% sent data to Facebook.

Apple recently introduced app tracking transparency, a feature for iPhones and iPads that asks users of each app whether or not they want to allow third-party app tracking, with the vast majority of people opting out.

“However, most smartphone users around the world are using Android, where no similar functionality exists. In fact, advertisers are now spending more money on Android, apparently because it’s now easier to follow you there. This is why we are delighted to announce the beta version of the Tracking Protection for Android App, ”the search engine said.

After enabling app tracking protection, the DuckDuckGo app will detect when your Android apps are about to send data to third party tracking companies found in our app tracking dataset and block those requests.

App Tracking Protection is not a virtual private network (VPN), although your device recognizes it as such.

“However, application tracking protection is different from VPNs in that it never routes application data through an external server,” said DuckDuckGo, which topped 100 million daily search requests.

Launched in 2008, DuckDuckGo’s search engine lags far behind Google, but the latest controversies around user data privacy have helped it gain momentum like Telegram and Signal.

DuckDuckGo has been selected as the default search engine in the highly secure Tor Browser chat platform, and is often the default search engine in the incognito modes of several other browsers.

(With IANS entries)

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Posted on: Monday November 22, 2021 12:12 IST


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