DuckDuckGo’s search syndication cope with Microsoft is the foundation of a problem resulting in information being tracked within the firm’s allegedly non-public cellular internet browser.
It was found this week that DuckDuckGo’s cellular browser transfers information to Microsoft-owned properties when visiting sure web sites.
This was confirmed by DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg, who’s working to protect the corporate’s status after the doubtless damaging discovery was shared on Twitter.
Does that imply the privacy-centric DuckDuckGo isn’t as non-public as we’ve come to consider?
Right here’s what was revealed about DuckDuckGo’s browser, what the CEO has to say in response, and why critics aren’t happy.
DuckDuckGo Browser Permits Microsoft Trackers
Safety researcher Jacob Edwards posted proof in a prolonged Twitter thread exhibiting DuckDuckGo’s cellular browser transferring information to Microsoft’s LinkedIn and Bing Advertisements.
You may seize information throughout the DuckDuckGo so-called non-public browser on a web site like Fb’s https://t.co/u8W44qvsqF and you will see that DDG does NOT cease information flows to Microsoft’s Linkedin domains or their Bing promoting domains.
iOS + Android proof:
— ℨ𝔞𝔠𝔥 𝔈𝔡𝔴𝔞𝔯𝔡𝔰 (@thezedwards) May 23, 2022
If this have been an internet browser from some other firm, the transferring of information to a third-party wouldn’t be something out of the extraordinary.
For DuckDuckGo, an organization that markets itself as one which doesn’t monitor customers, that is turning into fairly a scandal.
Privateness is the corporate’s complete mission assertion. “We don’t monitor you. Ever,” reads DuckDuckGo’s homepage on the time of this writing.
Any quantity of monitoring due to this fact goes in opposition to DuckDuckGo’s mission assertion.
Though this concern seems to be unique to Micrsoft-owned properties, DuckDuckGo remains to be promising a stage of safety it’s not delivering on.
DuckDuckGo CEO Responds To Criticism
Weinberg was fast to reply to the criticism of his firm, confirming Microsoft trackers aren’t blocked on the DuckDuckGo browser.
Nonetheless, he makes an attempt to downplay the state of affairs as a result of it doesn’t affect DuckDuckGo’s search outcomes.
“This isn’t about search,” he begins in assertion revealed to the Hacker News discussion board.
Isn’t it, although?
If it weren’t for the search syndication deal between DuckDuckGo and Microsoft, this wouldn’t be a problem within the first place.
Whereas it could have “no bearing on our search outcomes,” as a DuckDuckGo spokesperson tells PCMag.com, it’s intrinsically associated to the search contract with Microsoft.
DuckDuckGo’s public relations tour doesn’t finish there. Anybody criticizing the corporate on Twitter is met with the identical copied and pasted reply from Weinberg:
“Hello, FYI — this isn’t about our search engine, and we truly prohibit Microsoft scripts in our browsers, together with blocking their third social gathering cookies. In order for you full context, I left an in depth rationalization on reddit.”
Within the Reddit thread he hyperlinks to, Weinberg clarifies DuckDuckGo doesn’t promise anonymity when looking outdoors its search engine.
Additional, he contends that “nothing can present 100% safety,” and what DuckDuckGo presents is “one of the best factor on the market for mainstream customers.”
What are the important thing takeaways from all this?
In brief — the corporate that guarantees to not monitor you ever is definitely monitoring you generally.
We’ve discovered that complete anonymity isn’t assured when looking with DuckDuckGo outdoors its search engine.
DuckDuckGo is contractually obligated to permit Microsoft trackers in its internet browser.
The corporate continues to vow safety from information trackers when conducting search queries on DuckDuckGo.com.
Whether or not this has a long-lasting affect on DuckDuckGo’s status stays to be seen.
To DuckDuckGo’s credit score, it’s uncommon to see a CEO get in entrance of a problem so shortly and publicly handle peoples’ considerations. Weinberg has been nothing however clear concerning the search deal between DuckDuckGo and Microsoft.
Featured Picture: Ascannio/Shutterstock
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