Privacy-focused web browser DuckDuckGo allowed Microsoft tracking scripts on third-party websites
After it was revealed in May that the privacy-focused web browser DuckDuckGo (DDG) allowed Microsoft tracking scripts on third-party websites, the company now asserts that it would start prohibiting such as well. Microsoft’s scripts from the Bing and LinkedIn domains, but not its third-party cookies, previously had a pass. Due to its restriction of third-party tracker loading, DuckDuckGo’s browser already by default blocks scripts from being placed on websites from Facebook, Google, and other corporations.
The exclusion was brought up by security researcher Zach Edwards, who noted that it is particularly perplexing given that Microsoft is the partner that provides ads in DDG’s search engine. Edwards claimed to have discovered the exclusion while looking into the browser’s privacy claims (while promising not to use that data to create a monitored profile of users to target ads, instead relying on context to decide which ones it should show). Then-CEO of DuckDuckGo Gabe Weinberg claimed that it was because of a search syndication agreement with Microsoft and made a commitment to shortly reveal additional details regarding third-party tracker preventions. The company’s use of the phrase “tracking is tracking” to criticize Google’s “privacy sandbox” ad technology, which replaces cookies, provoked a backlash, with some seizing on it.
According to the company’s vice president of communications Kamyl Bazbaz, the majority of Microsoft scripts are already blocked by the browser’s other security measures. He also asserted that “we ran a test to see how much more blocking is happening as a result of this new update and based on the top 1,000 websites, we found the increase was only 0.25 percent.”
Given that advertising will account for the majority of Alphabet, the parent company of Google$257,’s billion in revenue in 2021, DuckDuckGo’s criticism of Google’s advertising profiles and the data they regularly get from their several businesses are legitimate.