DuckDuckGo Is Launching a New Email Privacy Feature

Published · Jul 26, 2021

DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focused search engine, is taking privacy further by rolling out a beta for an email privacy protection tool. The main problem the feature aims to tackle is email tracking.

Advertisers, stores, etc., insert trackers, usually in the form of a pixel or two, into emails in order to see how recipients are engaging with them.

DuckDuckGo, always serious about relying on factual data, points out that some 70% of emails contain trackers. These trackers tell vendors if you’ve opened an email, where you opened it, and what device you opened it on. 

DuckDuckGo’s email privacy tool will allow you to use a DuckDuckGo email address. Any emails sent to it will then be scanned and have trackers removed. Once stripped from trackers, the message will be forwarded to your actual email address.

This will allow you to protect your identity from advertisers and online criminals alike.

An added benefit is that you won’t have to switch to entirely new email service.

DuckDuckGo considers this crucial to adoption, as many users are already comfortable with their service of choice.

Rather than trying to replace existing email, DuckDuckGo is letting users augment them for privacy. 

Email’s Staying Power

Email is one of the oldest forms of online communication. It remains one of the most relevant.

From individual users to businesses operating sales funnels with it, email is integral to commerce, account administration, and socializing. 

Special hosting solutions exist to cater to particular needs, ensuring smooth operation and the security of emails against intrusion. With how ingrained advertising and tracking is in email though, DuckDuckGo’s new tool is decidedly pro-privacy.

It removes trackers indiscriminately. As such it’ll most likely undermine the tracking, and therefore analytics of email automation services. This might annoy some email marketers but will be welcomed by privacy-conscious internet users.

The tool will be available in both the DuckDuckGo app for iOS & Android, as well as the browser extension. Users will receive a Personal Duck Address to give trusted contacts and be able to generate Private Duck Addresses to use for sign-ups and other needs.

When no longer needed, these temporary addresses can be deleted. 

Sign up for the beta waitlist is currently available through the app.

Garan van Rensburg
Garan van Rensburg

Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.