DuckDuckGo is soon protecting you from most Microsoft scripts

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 5, 2022
Updated • Aug 5, 2022

DuckDuckGo CEO and founder Gabriel Weinberg announced today that the company's apps and browser extensions will block Microsoft tracking scripts soon as well.

DuckDuckGo found itself at the center of a controversy in May when it was discovered that the company's privacy-focused products were not blocking Microsoft trackers.

DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser app does not block Microsoft trackers

Brave browser founder Brendan Eich called out DuckDuckGo for whitelisting Microsoft from the built-in tracking blocker of DuckDuckGo's privacy products.

Weinberg announced today that DuckDuckGo's apps and extensions will block Microsoft scripts, just like the products are blocking Google, Facebook and other scripts that could be used for tracking purposes. The company's products will block scripts from Microsoft from loading on websites via the 3rd-Party Tracker Loading Protection feature.

DuckDuckGo plans to roll out the improvement in the next week across company products. Beta versions of the apps will get the protection in the coming months, according to Weinberg.

DuckDuckGo has a partnership with Microsoft. Microsoft provides the company with access to data from its Bing search engine. Weinberg notes that the Microsoft tracking exemption in DuckDuckGo's products was "due to a policy requirement". He notes that this policy is no longer in effect and that this has paved the way for the extension of the tracker blocking in the company's products.

DuckDuckGo did not embed Microsoft scripts on its website or in the company's applications or extensions.

Microsoft is DuckDuckGo's advertising partner as well. DuckDuckGo and Microsoft have an agreement that Microsoft won't use interactions with ad-clicks to profile users. Data is also not stored or shared, "other than for accounting purposes" according to Weinberg.

DuckDuckGo's applications won't block certain Microsoft scripts from running on third-party sites that are used for conversion tracking. The script is loaded on the target site after interaction with an ad to track conversions. Weinberg reveals that DuckDuckGo users may disable ads in the DuckDuckGo search settings to prevent this from happening.

DuckDuckgo plans to create a better solution for conversion tracking that replaces the current method.

To improve transparency, DuckDuckGo made its tracker protection list publicly available. Additionally, its products are showing more information in the privacy dashboard in regards to third-party requests.

Interested users may check out a new support page that provides details on the company's web tracking protections.

Closing Words

Weinberg does not provide specifics on how his company and Microsoft came to the new agreement and the removing of the user-unfriendly policy. Whether the controversy hurt DuckDuckgo's growth or reputation remains to be seen. It is clear that some users were not too happy with the revelation. It is difficult to earn trust, but easy to game it.

Now You: do you use DuckDuckGo Search or the company's other products?

DuckDuckGo is soon protecting you from most Microsoft scripts
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DuckDuckGo is soon protecting you from most Microsoft scripts
DuckDuckGo CEO and founder Gabriel Weinberg announced today that the company's apps and browser extensions will block Microsoft tracking scripts soon as well. 
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  1. Roebie said on September 16, 2011 at 10:23 am

    “the not so perfect search utility in XP”
    At least it worked. Both Vista and Seven take far too much time indexing and searching on networked drives.
    A search for all files with a certain string in the filename takes 3 times longer on Seven (and 4 times longer on Vista) than on XP.
    The indexing service takes too much memory too.
    I’ll stick to Copernic Desktop Search for now!

  2. Kari said on September 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    What a crap! My customers don’t find their documents with windows search function, even if it is almost in right front of you. Microsoft’s policy is to keep everything messy and protected, and the most stupidiest thing is to show different name for the folder than what it actually is.

    Is it too much to ask, if the search function would work like in XP? Yes it is…
    Good luck with Windows Search, third party software rules in this case… too.

  3. Fuddler said on October 18, 2012 at 6:13 am

    The term negation function doesn’t work.

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