Originally introduced late last year, DuckDuckGo’s App Tracking Protection is now available for public beta testing on Android. Here’s how to use it.
DuckDuckGo’s App Tracking Protection is now available for public beta testing on Android. Last year, the feature was launched in limited beta as part of the company’s plans to offer more protection from third-party trackers than Apple’s App Tracking Transparency, allowing users to opt out of data tracking within apps. The App Tracking Protection feature works in the background and prevents apps from sharing user information with third-party trackers. The app also shows a real-time view of blocked trackers along with where the data was headed for.
Known predominantly for its eponymous privacy-oriented search engine, DuckDuckGo also offers a privacy browser on Android and iOS. The company also recently launched its browser app on Mac. The DDG app comes with the company’s search engine as default, as well as a tracker blocker, encryption enforcer, and more. In addition to the standalone browsers on mobile, DDG also offers extensions (add-ons) for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. The company also said it doesn’t collect or share users’ personal information. As for its advertising revenue, DDG said it comes from “private ads” based on the user’s search results rather than their browsing or purchase history.
DuckDuckGo on Wednesday announced that the App Tracking Protection feature in its Android browser is now available to all users. According to DDG, the new tool, which is still in beta, helps block third-party trackers in apps even when they’re not in use. The company further said that it had added multiple new features to the new tool since its launch in limited beta last year. For example, to offer users as much information about attempted tracking by apps and third-party trackers, App Tracking Protection now shows what trackers are collecting personal data before being blocked. According to the company, the data could include the user’s “precise location, age, and a digital fingerprint of your phone.”
DuckDuckGo’s App Tracking Protection
DDG also said that the latest version of the App Tracking Protection feature comes with improved performance and reduced app exclusions. The company has also made its blocklist publicly available. To use the new feature, update or download the DuckDuckGo Android app, open Settings, select App Tracking Protection and follow on-screen instructions.
Explaining why the new feature was launched on Android, DuckDuckGo said that the majority of smartphone users globally use Android, but the platform doesn’t have any comprehensive app tracking protection. According to the company, that could be a problem, as a typical Android device with 35 apps can experience between 1,000 and 2,000 tracking attempts from over 70 different tracking companies every day. DuckDuckGo seeks to put an end to this targeted data collection with its new App Tracking Protection tool.