Some trackers will still be allowed to measure ad conversions
DuckDuckGo delivers on its promise to right a big mistake in its mission of greater privacy on the web. Back in MayResearchers discovered that the company allows Microsoft ad and analytics tracking through mobile browsers and desktop browser extensions while blocking others. It was an act of hypocrisy, but also necessary: DuckDuckGo signed Microsoft as the main supplier of its search engine results, and one of the terms in their contract required the passage of trackers from Bing and LinkedIn in DuckDuckGo products. It now appears, however, that the contract has changed. There is a lot too.
The company says about Company Blog (Across Computer) that its third-party tracker download protection feature is
It is no longer forbidden to block Microsoft blocking of tracking scripts in more cases. Although they are already blocked in most cases and will be blocked further, users who click on ads provided by Microsoft through the DuckDuckGo search results page may see some tracking tools originating from bat.bing.com if they are embedded into the site. Visit. Microsoft says it uses the data to count conversions from clicks to product purchases, it doesn’t create user profiles, and it gets rid of the data in 7 days. DuckDuckGo also continues to say that it does not include Microsoft script bots in its products, a case that has always been in place.
There is no reasonable expectation of complete privacy when someone is browsing the web, so the company also takes the opportunity to announce that it has updated the Privacy Dashboard on its browsers and extensions to include records of which tracking requests have been approved and denied. And for what reasons, if any. The company is also making a list of blocked trackers (including the most recent ones from 21 URLs that originated with Microsoft) for the public through GitHub repository And that it will soon open the code to create a block list for Tracker Radar.
Furthermore, it has opened a new section on its help pages that lists the trackers that are blocked for any product – split between browser apps for Android, iOS/iPadOS and Mac, and Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera and Safari extensions. Different products get different blocking support due to differences in their operating system framework.
In the future, DuckDuckGo hopes to implement an ad conversion tracking protocol that will keep data sharing to an absolute minimum while still providing marketers with the basic information they need.
Update: 08/07/2022 16:23 EST BY JULES WANG
Corrections and clarifications
DuckDuckGo has reached out to Android Police to provide some corrections and more context for our story as it was written.
- Tracker Radar is the name of the feature that crawls the internet to locate trackers. Third-party Tracking Load Protection actually implements script blocking operations. We have erroneously referred to Tracker Radar as the feature that prevents scripts from running.
- Prior to these announced changes, DuckDuckGo was blocking many instances of Microsoft trackers – these often come from sites that use tag managers such as those provided through Google Analytics to launch bundles of scripts from various sources. 3PTLP is already blocking Google Tag Manager. The company says it only recorded a 0.25% increase in Microsoft script stops after it implemented the changes.
- We’ve also included more context about when Microsoft’s bat.bing.com trackers were loaded into the story.
- The company says that users can disable ads in DuckDuckGo’s search settings.
We apologize unreservedly to DuckDuckGo and our readers and acknowledge the errors.
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