The ‘App Tracking Protection’ feature of the DuckDuckGo app for Android has gone open beta. This would be effective in enhancing privacy throughout the whole operating system by blocking third-party trackers or tracking scripts in all the installed apps on an Android device.
The DuckDuckGo is a unique web browser, data protection utility, and search engine focused on privacy concerns. It has been downloaded over 10 million times from Google Play Store.
It has several privacy features such as hidden tracker blocking, search term anonymity, auto HTTPS, email tracker protection, and one-tap browsing history cleaning.
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On November 16 DuckDuckGo announced, “It’s a free feature in the DuckDuckGo Android app that helps block 3rd-party trackers in the apps on your phone (like Google snooping in your weather app) – meaning more comprehensive privacy and less creepy targeting.” This new version of the feature helps Android users see the blocked trackers and the type of data they were targeting.
Similarity and Difference with App Tracking Transparency by Apple
It is similar to the ‘App Tracking Transparency’ feature of Apple but unlike that feature DuckDuckGo’s system is independent of the app developers’ compliance with user choice. The blocking is done based on the updated and ever-growing list of trackers.
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On average, Android users have 35 apps installed on their devices as per DuckDuckGo. This generates between 1000 and 2000 tracking attempts from over 70 tracking companies daily.
The ‘App Tracking Protection’ feature shall be blocking all attempts of tracking in the background while the users play games, browse the internet, check the weather, etc. on their devices. The latest version also ensures that the blocking takes place without causing much impact on device performance.
People who want to know the extent of the threat each app possesses to their privacy can use the real-time view option of the feature. It gives out the list of trackers loaded and blocked.
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Activate the feature
To get the feature, the users need to download and install the DuckDuckGo app if not already done. Then go to Settings>More from DuckDuckGo>enable App Tracking Protection.
DuckDuckGo explained, “App Tracking Protection uses a local “VPN connection,” which means that it works its magic right on your smartphone and without sending app data to DuckDuckGo or other remote servers.”
The ‘App Tracking Protection’ is a powerful and useful tool but it is still in its beta stage. Thus, it may cause apps or sites to function improperly sometimes. If you face any issues or things get a little frustrating, you may disable the feature.