Privacy-focused web browser DuckDuckGo is expanding its third-party tracker protections to include Microsoft after user backlash.
It wasn’t too long ago that popular private browser DuckDuckGo found itself under scrutiny when users discovered that it’s tracking protection was making exceptions for Microsoft trackers. This created some uncertainty over whether or not the browser’s privacy was actually living up to expectations. Now DuckDuckGo is making amends by removing those Microsoft exceptions, as well as providing more transparency about how a lot of its privacy systems have been designed.
First and foremost, it’s expanding third-party tracking scripts coverage to include those used by Microsoft (which were previously allowed due to contractual limitations). Meaning that now even Microsoft tracking scripts—in addition to scripts from Facebook, Google, etc—will not be able to load when using the DuckDuckGo browser.
In addition, while the browser does take steps to keep ad viewing data anonymous, specific ad tracking that utilizes the "bat.bing.com" domain is able to monitor conversion data. It's something that can currently be avoided by disabling ads in DuckDuckGo search settings. The company is also working to provide conversion data without profiling of any kind.
DuckDuckGo’s updated third-party tracking protections will be rolling out over the course of the next week or so across its smartphone apps and browser extensions. The company also publicly released a list of third-party trackers that it blocks, for user reference. A new help page was also posted, which goes into more precise detail about DuckDuckGo’s various protections across all of its multiple platforms.