The privacy and personalized search engine DuckDuckGo wants to prevent Android apps from tracking users. The company has introduced a new privacy measure to Android — App Tracking Protection for Android — that Google has not yet designed to include in its operating system.
App Tracking Protection for Android, coming to the DuckDuckGo app in beta, is intended to prevent apps from tracking users, just as Apple does with App Tracking Transparency.
According to DuckDuckGo, the tool will be able to detect in the background if an app is going to send personal data to third-party tracking companies. If these are in the browser’s database, it blocks them so that the information is not shared.
“You can enjoy your apps as you normally would and App Tracking Protection will run in the background and continue to block the detected trackers throughout your apps, even while you sleep.” — the company states on its blog.
DuckDuckGo further emphasizes that the feature is not a private VPN, but is considered a local “VPN connection” as it “never routes app data through an external server“. The browser will also allow you to see which applications the tracking has blocked.
During the initial tests, the developer company has verified that more than 96% of the most popular Android apps send information to third-party companies. Part of this data is sent to Google (87%), while 68% of the information collected is sent to Facebook (Meta).
Users who wish to use it can join a virtual waiting list through the DuckDuckGo page. It is unknown when it will officially arrive in the browser. DuckDuckGo has also introduced an email protection service to protect email privacy.