DuckDuckGo Browser Enables Microsoft Trackers

The privacy-focused DuckDuckGo browser allows Microsoft trackers hosted on third-party sites under a search agreement between the two companies.

Bleeping Computer says that the developers of DuckDuckGo have always emphasized privacy and stated that they do not track search queries and user behavior. Also, instead of profiling users to serve interest-based ads, DuckDuckGo uses contextual advertising from partners such as Ads by Microsoft.

By the way, we wrote that Brave and DuckDuckGo help users fight Google tracking, and also that DuckDuckGo devs warn that refuse from third-party cookies does not prevent browser tracking.

While DuckDuckGo does not store any personal identifiers associated with search queries, Microsoft Advertising may track an individual’s IP address and other information when they click on an “account” ad link, although this is claimed to be unrelated to ad profiling.

In addition, DuckDuckGo offers users a native privacy-focused browser for iOS and Android that supports many security features, including HTTPS encryption, third-party cookie blocking, and tracker blocking.

Tracker Radar automatically blocks hidden third-party trackers that can be found on the sites you visit on DuckDuckGo, which prevents the companies behind these trackers from collecting and selling your data.the developers wrote.

However, recently, during a security audit of the DuckDuckGo browser, security researcher Zach Edwards found that while the browser does block Google and Facebook trackers, it allows Microsoft trackers to continue working. Further testing showed that DuckDuckGo allowed trackers associated with the and domains while blocking all others.

Gabriel Weinberg
Gabriel Weinberg

In response to a lengthy Twitter thread where Edwards described the results of his tests, DuckDuckGo CEO and founder Gabriel Weinberg revealed that the company’s browser does enable Microsof trackers to run on third-party sites due to a search syndication agreement.

This statement caused a real uproar on Hacker News, where Weinberg tried to defend the company, talked a lot about transparency and tried to explain the essence of DuckDuckGo’s agreements with Microsoft. In particular, Weinberg made it clear that these restrictions only apply to the DuckDuckGo browser and do not affect the company’s search engine.

As journalists now write, DuckDuckGo does not deny an advertising partnership with Microsoft and tries to comply with the principles of transparency, but it is not entirely clear why the company was silent about this until a researcher accidentally discovered Microsoft trackers. The company now says it’s working to revise its Microsoft agreement and wants to make app store descriptions more transparent.

Interestingly, more recently DuckDuckGo has been heavily criticized by Google for their new Topics and FLEDGE tracking methods. The company wrote:

Google claims it’s better than privacy, but the simple fact is that tracking is tracking, no matter what you call it.

Now, Bleeping Computer is quoting an official statement from DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg:

We have always been extremely careful and never promised anonymity while browsing, because, frankly, this is not possible, given how quickly trackers change the way they work to bypass the protection and tools that we offer. When most other browsers on the market talk about tracking protection, they usually refer to third-party cookie protection and fingerprinting protection, and our iOS, Android, and Mac beta browsers place restrictions on third-party tracking scripts, including those from Microsoft.

What it’s all about is ultimate protection, which most browsers don’t even try to implement, is blocking third party tracking scripts before they’re loaded on third party sites. Because we do this where we can, and users still get significantly better privacy protections on DuckDuckGo than they do on Safari, Firefox, and other browsers.said clinic representatives

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Daniel Zimmermann

Daniel Zimmermann has been writing on security and malware subjects for many years and has been working in the security industry for over 10 years. Daniel was educated at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany and currently lives in New York.

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