DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser for Android is getting an App Tracking Protection feature
DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser is an open source web browser for Google's Android operating system by DuckDuckGo. The company, best known for its privacy-focused search engine, developed the Android application as a companion app for Android.
First launched in 2018, the Android application has since then several important feature additions and improvements. At its core, it is a web browser that uses WebView, the rendering engine that is provided by Android.
Some of the application's core features include encryption enforcement, better control over browsing data, blocking of website tracking and of course, use of DuckDuckGo as the search engine.
DuckDuckGo launched an email tracker blocking recently, which is also available as a beta service in the application.
The latest release, version 5.102.3 of DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser for Android, introduces an App Tracking Protection feature.
New! DuckDuckGo App Tracking Protection BETA — block trackers lurking in your apps. Join the private waitlist (in settings) and your invite will arrive soon.
DuckDuckGo discovered that over 96% of free Android applications that it tested included trackers. Of these, 87% sent data to Google and 68% to Facebook, often without the user seeing any of that in the application.
The new version of the browser can be downloaded from the official GitHub repo, rollout via Google Play is slow as always.
The feature is labeled as beta and users need to join a waiting list and receive an invitation based on the waiting list position to start using it.
Here is how that is done (in the app):
- Open the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser application. Make sure it is at least version 5.102.3.
- Select Menu (three-dots) > Settings.
- Scroll down to the Privacy section.
- Tap on "App Tracking Protection".
- Select to join the wait list.
You may enable notifications to get one when you receive the invite to start using the new protection.
DuckDuckGo's tracking protection feature for applications uses the "VPN-method" to block trackers system-wide on Android. The method is not new, but very effective when it comes to the blocking of trackers. Unlike "real" VPN solutions for Android, traffic is not routed through servers on the Internet but handled on the device locally.
After enabling App Tracking Protection, the DuckDuckGo app will detect when your Android apps are about to send data to third-party tracking companies found in our app tracker dataset, and block those requests. You can enjoy your apps as you normally would and App Tracking Protection will run in the background and continue to block the detected trackers throughout your apps, even while you sleep. We are continually working to identify and protect against new trackers, so you can rest easy knowing you’re getting the most up-to-date protection.
If you have turned on notifications, you will get regular summaries of the application's Tracking Protection activity, revealing the number of tracking attempts that were blocked by it and the total number of applications that tried to communicate with the trackers.
The beta version excludes "a small number of apps" because they "rely on tracking to work properly" according to DuckDuckGo.
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