DuckDuckGo starts sharing online tracking data with other companies

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DuckDuckGo, the privacy-minded browser company, has begun sharing some of the data it collects on online trackers with other companies in order to help them protect the privacy of their users online.

A CNET report said DuckDuckGo started sharing the data set (which it calls Tracker Radar) on Thursday, with details of 5,326 web domains used by 1,727 companies and organisations that track you when you browse online. Fellow browser company Vivaldi said it has already started using Tracker Radar. 

More used browsers like Google Chrome allow websites to track you in order to deliver you personalised ads. But people are becoming more aware of the privacy implications of technology like this, and more sceptical of the user benefits gained from surrendering personal data to free services like Google and Facebook.

While Chrome is data tracking heavy unless you download an ad blocker, Apple’s Safari browser blocks tracking by default.

DuckDuckGo’s browsers for desktop and mobile do not track your online activity or attach it to your user profile, keeping your browsing relatively private in comparison to competitors like Chrome. DuckDuckGo’s search results ads are supplied by Microsoft based on search alone, and do not reflect the rest of your online activity or personal information.

CNET reports that DuckDuckGo is an 83-person profitable company, and so asked founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg why it was sharing such data on online tracking for free. Weinberg said: “Our vision for the company is to raise the standard of trust online … [t]hat vision trumps the profit potential here.”

Anyone can use Tracker Radar and DuckDuckGo will update it once a month.

DuckDuckGo is gaining in popularity and Weinberg said that its browser and browser extensions are downloaded 100,000 times a day.