Famous for protecting privacy, but DuckDuckGo browser discovered to allow Microsoft to track users

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2022-07-22 19:16:41

Although it doesn’t have much of a reputation among ordinary users, the DuckDuckGo browser is still popular in the tech world because of its reputation for protecting user privacy. The company itself has repeatedly criticized Google for potentially privacy-invading practices.

But it was DuckDuckGo that was discovered “making a deal with the devil“Under a top-secret search agreement, DuckDuckGo’s browser won’t block all of Microsoft’s trackers. Worse, when discovered by a security researcher, the company’s management just assumes this. just a “privacy hole” instead of admitting his mistake.

In its browser, DuckDuckGo brings up search results from all other services, mainly from Bing. As you know, when you click on a Microsoft-provided advertisement in the DuckDuckGo browser, it will reveal your IP address to the advertising service Microsoft Advertising – this is published on the DuckDuckGo website and in the Google Ads tool. company search.

But it turns out that the partnership between DuckDuckGo and Microsoft is deeper than we thought. At the end of May, security researcher Zach Edwards discovered that the DuckDuckGo mobile browser does not block Microsoft trackers on third-party websites, such as workplace.com owned by Facebook.

When discovered, despite trying to reassure everyone, but Mr. Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo, also had to admit that DuckDuckGo was favoring Microsoft through a search distribution agreement. So even though the DuckDuckGo browser blocks most third-party trackers, they don’t with Microsoft’s trackers.

Famous for protecting privacy, it turns out that DuckDuckGo's browser itself allows Microsoft to track users - Photo 2.

Besides, he also explained that Microsoft cannot see what you search for on DuckDuckGo. But in reality, if you visit a website containing Microsoft trackers, your data will be exposed to Microsoft services like Bing and LinkedIn.

Even though DuckDuckGo has a staunch privacy policy for Microsoft ads, it still doesn’t explain how Microsoft still uses data from third-party trackers. This is alarming.

Famous for protecting privacy, it turns out that DuckDuckGo's browser itself allows Microsoft to track users - Photo 3.

Maybe the situation is overblown, but it’s also possible that Microsoft has built advertising profiles based on your browsing behavior on DuckDuckGo – we don’t know this when the agreement between DuckDuckGo and Microsoft is top secret.

More ironically, this discovery was announced not long after DuckDuckGo publicly criticized Google for its new method of tracking users called “Topics” and FLEDGE targeted advertising. At the same time, DuckDuckGo also emphasized in the tweet that, “tracking is tracking, whatever you call it” and stated that DuckDuckGo’s Chrome extension will block these Google features.

Famous for protecting privacy, it turns out that DuckDuckGo's browser itself allows Microsoft to track users - Photo 4.

On Twitter, Mr. Gabriel Weinberg said DuckDuckGo “is working tirelessly behind the scenes” to improve their agreement with Microsoft. In addition, he expects DuckDuckGo to “add an extra layer of protection against Microsoft’s third-party trackers” for a future update.

It’s a pity that this was only revealed when information about the secret agreement in favor of Microsoft’s third-party trackers emerged. Privacy and transparency used to be the biggest advantages of DuckDuckGo browser, but now Microsoft has become the exception without even users knowing about it.

Obviously, DuckDuckGo doesn’t deliver the level of privacy they once promised to users. The saddest thing is that with the demise of DuckDuckGo, it seems that no other company can protect your browsing data really effectively. The internet doesn’t run on data or user anonymity, it runs on money, and user data is worth a lot of money.

Refer to BleepingComputer

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