DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser is an open source web browser for the Android operating system from Google by DuckDuckGo. The company, best known for its privacy-focused search engine, developed the Android app as a companion app for Android.
First launched in 2018, the Android app has since had several important feature additions and improvements. Basically, it is a web browser that uses WebView, the rendering engine provided by Android.
Some of the main features of the app include applying encryption, better control of browsing data, blocking website tracking, and of course using DuckDuckGo as a search engine.
DuckDuckGo recently launched an email tracking blocker, which is also available as a beta service in the app.
The latest version, version 5.102.3 of DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser for Android, introduces an app tracking protection feature.
New! DuckDuckGo App Tracking Protection BETA – block trackers hiding in your apps. Join the private waiting list (in settings) and your invitation will arrive soon.
DuckDuckGo found that over 96% of the free Android apps it tested included trackers. Of these, 87% sent data to Google and 68% to Facebook, often without the user seeing any of it in the app.
The new browser version can be downloaded from the official GitHub repository, deployment through Google Play is slow as always.
The feature is labeled as beta and users must sign up on a waitlist and receive an invitation based on waitlist position to start using it.
Here’s how it’s done (in the app):
- Open the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser app. Make sure it is at least version 5.102.3.
- Select Menu (three dots)> Settings.
- Scroll down to the Privacy section.
- Tap “Application Tracking Protection”.
- Select to join the waiting list.
You can enable notifications to receive one when you receive the invitation to start using the new protection.
DuckDuckGo’s Tracking Protection feature for apps uses the “VPN method” to block system-wide trackers on Android. The method is not new, but very effective when it comes to blocking trackers. Unlike “real” VPN solutions for Android, traffic is not routed through servers on the Internet but managed locally on the device.
After enabling app tracking protection, the DuckDuckGo app will detect when your Android apps are about to send data to third party tracking companies found in our app tracking dataset and block those requests. You can enjoy your apps as you normally would and App Tracking Protection will run in the background and continue to block trackers detected in your apps, even while you sleep. We’re continually working to identify and protect against new trackers, so you can have peace of mind knowing you’re getting the most up-to-date protection.
If you’ve enabled notifications, you’ll get regular summaries of the app’s Tracking Protection activity, revealing the number of tracking attempts that have been blocked by the app and the total number of apps that have been blocked. tried to communicate with the trackers.
The beta excludes “a small number of apps” because they “rely on tracking to function properly,” according to DuckDuckGo.
Now you: do you use tracker blockers on your mobile devices?