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DuckDuckGo’s search deal safeguards browsers from blocking trackers



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DuckDuckGo’s search deal with Microsoft leads to data getting tracked. The data tracks the company’s allegedly private mobile web browser. It got discovered that DuckDuckGo’s mobile browser transfers data to Microsoft-owned properties when visiting certain websites.

This got confirmed by DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg. Weinberg is working to preserve the company’s reputation. This was after the potentially damaging discovery shared on Twitter. Security researcher Jacob Edwards posted evidence in a long Twitter thread.

The evidence showed DuckDuckGo’s mobile browser transferring data to Microsoft’s LinkedIn and Bing Ads. DuckDuckGo is a company that markets itself as one that doesn’t track users. This, in turn, was quite a scandal. The search deal will also represent a clear picture.

Privacy is the company’s entire mission statement. “We don’t track you. Ever,” reads DuckDuckGo’s homepage at the time of writing. Any amount of tracking is, therefore, against DuckDuckGo’s mission statement.

This issue appears to become exclusive to Microsoft-owned properties. DuckDuckGo is still promising a level of security it’s not delivering on. Weinberg quickly responded to the criticism of his company. This confirmed that Microsoft trackers did not get a block on the DuckDuckGo browser.

However, he attempts to downplay the situation. This is because it doesn’t impact DuckDuckGo’s search results. He said in a statement published to the Hacker news forum that this is not about search. However, DuckDuckGo’s public relations tour doesn’t end there. Anyone criticizing the company on Twitter met with the same reply from Weinberg.

However, the reply states, “Hi, FYI — this isn’t about our search engine, and we restrict Microsoft scripts in our browsers, including blocking their 3rd party cookies. If you want full context, I left a detailed explanation on Reddit.”

Weinberg clarified that DuckDuckGo doesn’t promise anonymity when browsing outside its search engine. He added that nothing could provide 100% protection.

DuckDuckGo contractually obligated to allow Microsoft trackers in its web browser. Nevertheless, the company continued to promise protection from data trackers. Weinberg is quite transparent about the search deal between DuckDuckGo and Microsoft.

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