Tuesday, December 7, 2021

DuckDuckGo Debuts App Tracking Protection for Android

DuckDuckGo (DDG) is taking a page from Apple’s book, introducing App Tracking Protection for Android.

Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency (ATT) in iOS/iPadOS 14.5, giving users the ability to ask that apps not track their activity across platforms and services. While Google has been working to introduce its own version of ATT, its version is not as comprehensive as Apple’s.

DDG is looking to provide a more comprehensive solution with its App Tracking Protection for Android, an app designed to monitor other apps’ activity and prevent them from tracking users. 

DuckDuck App Tracking Protection – Credit DuckDuckGo

“App Tracking Protection for Android is free and blocks trackers it identifies in other apps from third-party companies (those different from the company that owns each app),” the company writes in a blog post. “It is now built right into the DuckDuckGo Android app.

“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 tracker 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 the detected trackers throughout your apps, even while you sleep. We are continually working to identify and protect against new trackers, so you can rest easy knowing you’re getting the most up-to-date protection.”

Given that 96% of popular, free Android apps tested track users — with 87% sending data to Google and 68% sending to Facebook — DDG’s solution looks to fill a major need.

The feature is currently in beta. To join the private wait list open DuckDuckGo for Android, open Settings > App Tracking Protection under Privacy, click “Join the Private Waitlist.”

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