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DuckDuckGo now blocks ‘all known trackers’ on Android

Keep your browsing data to yourself.

Image: DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo’s Android privacy feature, App Tracking Protection, is now available to all users after a year of closed beta testing.

The feature completely blocks all third-party trackers on the Android device it is installed on. That’s important, as it keeps your digital fingerprint out of the hands of advertisers.

It’s part of the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser, which features private search, email tracking protection, forced HTTPS encryption when possible, and other privacy-focused tools.

Once enabled, it runs in the background, blocking third-party tracking in all apps the user opens. A list of blocked trackers is also displayed in the app.

DuckDuckGo can block all third-party Android trackers

Screenshots of duckduckduck app showing the new tracking protection feature
Image: KnowTechie

The App Tracking Protection feature resembles Apple’s App Tracking Transparency rules. The difference here is that DuckDuckGo’s implementation doesn’t require the participation of the app developers.

That means the user is in charge of blocking any apps they want. You might not think you need this, but DuckDuckGo’s investigations found the scale of app tracking to be immense.

According to them, the “average Android user has 35 apps on their phone.” Those apps can get 1,000-2,000 tracking attempts daily, with data going to over 70 tracking companies.

These companies gain a ton of information, like specifications about your Android device, your location, contact details, and other identifying data. Then, profiles are built around your data and sold to advertisers.

The new feature stops that by passing your data through a local VPN. That strips all identifying information away, so it’s not there for anyone (including DuckDuckGo) to get.

If you’re going to enable the App Tracking Protection feature, remember it is still in the beta stage. It could make apps glitch, miss some trackers, or produce any number of other bugs.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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