Uno of the great problems that are discussed currently in terms of internet privacy it refers to is that users care about how browsers work with "so-called online privacy", which has led to many alternatives to popular browsers and even search engines.
Many of them have turned to DuckDuckGo with the impression that the browser will allow them to enjoy the web without their activity being tracked. But a discovery by a security researcher reveals that things are not as private as users hoped and expected.
DuckDuckGo was discovered allowing data transmission through Microsoft trackers to the advertising domains of LinkedIn and Bing. Furthermore, DuckDuckGo admits that there is an agreement between it and Microsoft for the licensing of Windows Publisher plotters on third party sites.
The privacy-focused DuckDuckGo browser deliberately allows Microsoft trackers on third-party sites due to an agreement in their syndicated search content contract between the two companies.
DuckDuckGo is a search engine that prides itself on your privacy by not tracking your searches or your search behavior. Also, instead of creating user profiles to show interest-based ads, DuckDuckGo will use contextual ads from partners, such as Ads by Microsoft.
Although DuckDuckGo does not store any personal identifiers with your search queries, Microsoft Advertising may track your IP address and other information when you click on an advertising link for "accounting purposes," but it is not associated with an advertising user profile.
DuckDuckGo also offers a privacy-focused web browser for iOS and Android that promotes many privacy features, including always HTTPS encryption, third-party cookie blocking, and tracker blocking.
On its presentation in the App Store, we can read:
“Tracker Radar automatically blocks hidden third-party trackers that we may discover on the websites you visit on DuckDuckGo, preventing the companies behind these trackers from collecting and selling your data.
However, during a security audit DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser, security researcher Zach Edwards discovered Even though the browser blocked Google and Facebook trackers, allowed Microsoft trackers to continue to work:
“You can capture data in the so-called DuckDuckGo private browser on a website like Facebook's http://workplace.com and you will see that DDG does NOT stop data flows to Microsoft's Linkedin domains or their Bing ad domains. Try on iOS and Android.”
The additional tests showed that DuckDuckGo allowed linked trackers to the domains bing.com and linkedin.com while blocking all other trackers.
In response to Edwards' lengthy thread on the subject, the CEO and founder of DuckDuckGo, Gabriel Weinberg, c.confirmed that your browser intentionally allows Third-party Microsoft tracking sites due to a search syndication agreement with Redmond:
“When you load our search results, you are completely anonymous, including ads. For ads, we've worked with Microsoft to protect ad clicks. On our public ads page, "Microsoft Advertising does not associate your ad-click behavior with a user profile." »
And to keep saying:
“For the blocking of non-research related trackers (for example in our browser), we block most third party trackers. Unfortunately, our Microsoft search syndication agreement prevents us from doing more for Microsoft properties. However, we continue to push and hope to do more soon.”
Weinberg clarified that this restriction is only in your browser and does not affect the DuckDuckGo search engine. On DuckDuckGo's public announcement page, in the part regarding the partnership with Microsoft, it states:
“We partner with many different sources of information to provide DuckDuckGo Search (eg Microsoft for ads, Apple for maps, etc.). When you view search results (including ads), your searches cannot be linked to you, by us or our partners. Technically, it works: we don't store any personal identifiers (eg IP address) with your search terms, and we also pass all requests to partners through us.
This revelation comes at a bad time, as DuckDuckGo recently criticized Google for its new 'Topics' and 'FLEDGE' tracking methods, saying: "DuckDuckGo's Chrome extension now blocks Google's new 'Topics' tracking method and new ad retargeting method FLEDGE . Google says they're better for privacy, but in effect, a hint is a hint, whatever you want to call it."
Finally, if you are interested in being able to know more about it, you can consult the details in the following link