DuckDuckGo privacy browser caught sending tracking data to Microsoft

DuckDuckGo privacy browser caught sending tracking data to Microsoft

Is it safe to still use DuckDuckGo? Yes, if you do this one thing.

by Kurt Knutsson

DuckDuckGo, an alternative browser known for its stance and embrace of privacy first, has been sharing tracking data from its customers with Microsoft.

In an apparent deal struck between DuckDuckGo and Microsoft, tracking data is shared when others may have thought their web activity was completely anonymous.

A security researcher Zach Edwards deserves credit for a report after conducting several tests.  Edwards says “while DuckDuckGo blocks Google and Facebook trackers, it allowed Microsoft trackers to continue running”.

Investigative research shows that the browser allowed trackers related to Bing (a Microsoft search engine) and LinkedIn web addresses.

DuckDuckGo acknowledges sharing tracking data with Microsoft

DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg responded by saying that the browser intentionally allows Microsoft trackers to third-party sites as part of terms in a search syndication agreement with Microsoft.

In a statement released by DuckDuckGo following the not-so-private tracking allowed by Microsoft, DuckDuckGo says it will keep improving users’ right to privacy.  “We have always been extremely careful to never promise anonymity when browsing”.   The statement goes on to explain that their privacy protection is still superior to that offered by leading browsers including Safari, Edge, and Firefox.

Is it still safe to use DuckDuckGo browser?

It is relatively safe.  Meaning, compared to traditional browser options, DuckDuckGo is not perfect with privacy, but better than a vast majority of browsers.

Among the many ways to protect against who can track you, who can see what you write and what websites you visit, I would encourage you to always use a VPN.  You can see our review of the Best VPNs for 2022 here.

Like all browsers, DuckDuckGo is susceptible to malware, virus, and cyber threats. That is why you must always deploy strong antivirus protection across all of your online devices. See our review of the Best Antivirus Security Protection for 2022 here.

If you’re looking for other browser options that will not track you, read more here.

 

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