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DuckDuckGo brings Apple-inspired App Tracking Protection for Android

DuckDuckGo, in its internal tests, found that more than 96 percent of some of the most popular free Android apps have third-party trackers that most users are unaware of.

November 23, 2021 / 05:01 PM IST

Privacy-focused tech company DuckDuckGo wants to let users have the ability to control and block hidden trackers on its Android browser app. The company has now introduced “App Tracking Protection for Android” as a beta feature, which mimics Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Tools found on iOS devices.

App Tracking Protection for Android is free on the DuckDuckGo browser app. The beta feature is said to block trackers it identifies in other apps from third-party companies. Once enabled, the DuckDuckGo app will detect when Android apps are about to send data to third-party tracking companies found in its 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,” the blog post stated.

The company stated that App Tracking Protection is not a virtual private network (VPN), though your device will recognise it as one. The feature uses a local VPN connection and never routes app data through an external server.

Users will be able to see the list of blocked trackers on the DuckDuckGo app as well as which tracking networks they tried to send data to. They can also receive notifications, if enabled.