DuckDuckGo, an Internet search engine that focuses on privacy, is a great alternative to Google or Bing for those concerned about their personal information being collected online. DuckDuckGo also doesn’t use ads as the main source of income like other popular search engines do. Instead, it uses affiliate links and displays relevant ads based on search terms at the bottom of each page.
But, recently, DuckDuckGo introduced a way to protect Android phones too. Through what they called as App Tracking Protection feature.
Many Android apps track you!
DuckDuckGo found that 96% of the most popular free Android applications evaluated by AndroidRank.org included undisclosed third-party trackers. With a report from AppCensus, similar findings were discovered for 87 percent of these apps that transmitted data to Google and 68 percent that transmitted data to Facebook.
Here are other Android apps that track you.
– Google Play Services (mandatory)
– Facebook Messenger (requires camera for face recognition and location access to see where your friends are, many other unmentioned features give away privacy)
– Tinder Location Tracking is enabled by default on Android devices with no way to disable it.
– WhatsApp (requires access to camera, microphone and contact list)
– Uber Location Tracking is enabled by default on Android devices with no way to disable it.
– Instagram Location tracking requires GPS or WiFi connections for the app to gather location data. It stores this information under “location_of_the_photo” in the metadata.
– Skype (requires access to contact list, camera and microphone)
– eBay (requires GPS location data for delivery status updates)
These are just some of the examples of data that most apps get and use from their users.
To fix the issue of phone app trackers, DuckDuckGo introduced its new App Tracking Protection feature. Apple’s own tracking feature also has the same features as the DuckDuckGo’s. What’s different is that Apple only allows their security features on their iOS. Thus, making the DuckDuckGo convenient for Android users.
DuckDuckGo’s App Tracking Protection for Android is free and protects against trackers it finds in other applications from third-party firms, which are now integrated into the DuckDuckGo Android app.
How DuckDuckGo on Android works?
DuckDuckGo Tracking will detect when other Android apps are about to send data to third-party tracking companies. If DuckDuckGo detects this, it will block the request. You can continue using your app like normal with peace of mind that you are not being tracked.
App Tracking Protection runs in the background. It will continue to block trackers, no matter if you are sleeping or not. DuckDuckGo also plans to protect against new trackers going forward.
While its App Tracking Protection isn’t a VPN, your Android phone will see it as one because the feature makes use of a local VPN connection. As a result, its tracking protection is limited to your device and no app data is ever sent via an external server.
DuckDuckGo’s App Tracking for Android is now available today. It allows you to see which apps are sending us your personal information, and how often they’ve sent it over the past day, week, or month. You can also delete this data from our servers immediately if you’d like.