DuckDuckGo (DDG), a privacy-focused browser, has stopped loading Microsoft tracking scripts on third-party websites.
This comes after the company received criticism from its users for allowing Microsoft to track their data, including IP addresses. DuckDuckGo claims that its third-party Tracker Loading Protection mitigates this vulnerability by preventing most trackers from loading in the first place, providing significantly more security.
Trackers from Facebook, Google, and other companies were blocked by the company’s third-party Tracker. However, Microsoft was not covered by this safeguard. Zach Edwards, a security researcher, was the first to point out the exclusion, which he apparently discovered while auditing the browser’s privacy claims.
In response to the researcher’s claims, the browser has released a new update. “Previously, due to a policy requirement related to our use of Bing as a source for our private search results, we were limited in how we could apply for our 3rd-Party Tracker Loading Protection on Microsoft tracking scripts. We’re relieved that this is no longer the case. We have had, and continue to have, no similar limitation with any other company,” DuckDuckGo said in a statement.
“I’ve spent nearly 15 years building DuckDuckGo as an independent company.” After all this time, I believe more than ever that the majority of people online would prefer to be more private if they could press a privacy “easy button,” said DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg. This is not the first time DuckDuckGo has faced privacy concerns. Earlier this month, it was reported that DuckDuckGo had removed several search results for piracy-related websites such as The Pirate Bay, 1337x, and fmovies. Weinberg responded to the allegation by stating that the company “does not purge any results.”