DuckDuckGo displays YouTube video privacy warnings now

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 10, 2015

If you have opened on a video result on the search engine DuckDuckGo recently that linked to the video hosting site YouTube, you may have received a privacy warning instead of being taken directly to the site.

The warning reads "YouTube Privacy Warning. YouTube (owned by Google) does not let you watch videos anonymously. As such, watching YouTube videos here will be tracked by YouTube/Google.".

If you have opened video links previously on DuckDuckGo you know that you had the option to play them right on the site or follow the link to YouTube to play the video on the site instead.

DuckDuckGo is known for its search privacy which ensures that users are not tracked when they use the service to search on the Internet. The search engine, while still tiny in comparison to Google or even Bing, has risen in popularity in recent years due to its focus on privacy.


youtube privacy warning

Since DuckDuckGo has no control over YouTube videos as they require a direct connection to YouTube (read Google) servers, it is impossible for the service to ensure user anonymity.

The warning message refers to that. If you play the video on DuckDuckGo, Google will know about it.

You can select to play the video on the site if you want to or follow the link to YouTube to watch it on the site instead.

DuckDuckGo remembers the selection by default and won't ask you again when you open a video the next time using its search engine.

You can uncheck the box so that the choice you make won't be remembered by the service. It is furthermore possible to change the preference in the preferences.

duckduckgo privacy preferences

  1. Load the privacy tab of the settings with a click on the following link:
  2. You can alternatively click on the Hamburger icon on DuckDuckGo, select Advanced Settings from the menu and switch to privacy on the settings page.
  3. There you find the video playback option that you can modify to your liking. Available options are to always play videos on DuckDuckGo, to always load them on the third-party site they are hosted on, or to display the prompt again.

Note that the message is only displayed if you use the service's video search. If you click on a link that leads to YouTube in the regular search results, no such message is displayed. (thanks ig)

DuckDuckGo display privacy warning on YouTube video links
Article Name
DuckDuckGo display privacy warning on YouTube video links
The privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo has started to display privacy warnings in its video search results warning users when they try to play YouTube videos.

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  1. ig said on February 10, 2015 at 5:35 pm
  2. Raul said on February 10, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    This is old news.

  3. fokka said on February 11, 2015 at 2:24 am

    ot: nice choice of movie trailer, these final hours is one reason i love australian cinema. THE reason i love australian cinema is the movie “the loved ones”, check it out!

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