DuckDuckGo to Launch Tracker Blocking Android Tool

Published · Nov 23, 2021

Privacy-centric DuckDuckGo is releasing a new tool meant to prevent apps from tracking activity on Android devices. With it, users should have greater control over the data shared with third-party collectors.

According to DuckDuckGo’s blog, Spread Privacy, Apple’s newly-introduced “App Tracking Transparency” inspired this move.

This new function allows Apple users to opt out of being tracked by third parties, which most people did. DuckDuckGo noticed that there wasn’t an equivalent for Android.

Compounding the situation is the fact that advertisers are spending more on Android now because it offers better data. More people use Android, too, as it holds 72% of the mobile market.

When DuckDuckGo’s tool is fully functional, it will detect when installed apps are about to send data to a tracker and block their request. Although it won’t be able to affect internal components like Apple’s feature does, it should still provide good protection.

Google has also been trying to reign in third-party tracking. In theory, the new tool will work alongside this.

Privacy Advocates

DuckDuckGo is known for promoting privacy through the use of security-centric, safe practices online. Originally, the service was just a private search engine. However, it has since expanded into other areas and continues to branch out.

The company regularly promotes tools like VPNs and proxies. It also encourages the use of the Tor browser. While more secure, the latter is a harder sell than the commercial solutions mentioned, as it’s less user-friendly.

With the variety of options available, convenience normally trumps all else. As such, the new DuckDuckGo functionality is a welcome edition.

You can sign up for the beta waiting list. The more testing the tool receives, the better the odds it comes out sleek and usable by everyone.

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.