DuckDuckGo launches beta version of App Tracking Protection tool
DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focused search engine, has added an App Tracking Protection tool to its Android app, allowing users to see what personal data trackers are typically attempting to collect before blocking them.
The feature, which is currently in beta, prevents third-party trackers from being used across the user’s apps, even when they are not in use, resulting in more comprehensive privacy and less creepy targeting.
It is considered more powerful than Apple’s App Tracking Transparency for iOS devices because it installs a local VPN service on the phone, which can then begin blocking trackers on DDG’s public blocklist automatically. without transferring app data to DuckDuckGo or other remote servers
It also differs from Apple, whose analytics control and other privacy settings had no discernible effect on Apple’s data collection in the App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV, Books, and Stocks apps.
“The DuckDuckGo app on Android also offers a real-time view of App Tracking Protection’s results, including which tracking network is associated with each app and what data they’re known to collect,” the company said.
DuckDuckGo also notes that some apps, particularly browsers and apps with in-app browsers, are still excluded from tracking protection because they require tracking to function properly.
WIRED’s Matt Burgess shared his review on the application after installing 36 applications on a new Pixel 6 Pro and logging in to about half of them.
“These included the McDonald’s app, LinkedIn, Facebook, Amazon, and BBC Sounds. … I left the phone alone for four days and didn’t use it at all. In 96 hours, 23 of these apps had made more than 630 tracking attempts in the background. When I opened the McDonald’s app, trackers from Adobe, cloud software firm New Relic, Google, emotion-tracking firm Apptentive, and mobile analytics company Kochava tried to collect data about me. Opening the eBay and Uber apps—but not logging into them—was enough to trigger Google trackers,” Burgess explained.
The sources for this piece includes an article in ArsTechinca.