DuckDuckGo wants to prevent apps from tracking you on Android

in the end From April, Apple Introduction to Application Tracking Transparency Tools The advertising industry shook to its core. iPhone and iPad owners can now prevent apps from tracking their behavior and using their data for personalized ads. Since the launch of the new privacy controls, nearly $10 billion has been saved erased from revenue From Snap and Meta Platform’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Now, a similar tool is coming to Google’s Android operating system – although not from Google itself. A technology company focused on privacy DuckDuckGo, which began her life as a file private search engineAdds the ability to block hidden trackers to its Android app. The feature called “App Tracking Protection for Android” is rolling out It’s in beta today and aims to emulate Apple’s iOS controls. “The idea is that we prevent this data collection from apps that the trackers don’t have,” says Peter Dolanjski, product manager at DuckDuckGo. “You should see far fewer scary ads following you online.”

The vast majority of apps have third-party trackers hidden in their code. These trackers monitor your behavior across different apps and help create profiles about you that can include what you buy, demographic data, and other information that can be used to serve you personalized ads. DuckDuckGo says its analysis of popular free Android apps shows that more than 96 percent of them contain trackers. Blocking these trackers means that Facebook and Google, two of the most prominent trackers, can’t send data back to the parent company — nor are dozens of ad networks you’ve never heard of.

From a user’s point of view, blocking trackers with DuckDuckGo is easy. App Tracking Protection appears as an option in the settings menu of its Android app. For now, you will see the option to get a queue to access. But once the feature is turned on, it shows the total number of trackers blocked in the past week and gives a breakdown of what has been blocked in each app recently. Open an app daily MailDuckDuckGo, one of the world’s largest news websites, will immediately record that it is blocking trackers from Google, Amazon, WarnerMedia, Adobe and the advertising company Taboola. An example from DuckDuckGo showed that over 60 apps had tracked a test phone thousands of times in the past seven days.

My own experience bore it. Using fresh can Google Pixel 6 ProYou have installed 36 popular free apps – some estimates Claim People install about 40 apps on their phones — and sign in to about half of them. This included the McDonald’s app, LinkedIn, Facebook, Amazon and BBC Sounds. Then, with the DuckDuckGo Android tracker blocking preview turned on, I left the phone alone for four days and didn’t use it at all. In 96 hours, 23 of these apps made more than 630 tracking attempts in the background.

Using your phone on a daily basis – opening and interacting with apps – leads to more tracking attempts. When I opened the McDonald’s app, trackers from Adobe, cloud software company New Relic, Google, sentiment-tracking company Apptentive, and mobile analytics firm Kochava tried to collect data on me. Opening the eBay and Uber apps – but not logging into them – was enough to trigger Google’s bots.

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