PatoDuckGothe privacy-focused search engine, said Thursday That's it App Tracking Protection at the DuckDuckGo Android Browser is now out of beta and available to use on all Android phones. The security feature has been in beta since November 2021.
“App tracking protection is now out of beta,” the company wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “It's a free feature in the DuckDuckGo Android browser that helps you block third-party trackers in your phone's apps (like Google spying on your weather app).”
DuckDuckGo said in an email to CNET that during the beta testing period the feature blocked billions of tracking attempts on Android devices. Android users have an average of 35 apps on their phones, and those apps send more than a thousand tracking attempts to at least 70 tracking companies, DuckDuckGo said in a November 2022 blog post.
DuckDuckGo's App Tracking Protection feature for Android aims to block third-party trackers in apps and games on your device. The feature will send you daily reports showing how many tracking attempts were blocked in your apps in the first week after enabling the feature. After the first week, you will receive these reports every two weeks. This feature does not send data back to DuckDuckGo or other remote servers, which means all data remains on your Android device, the search engine said.
“DuckDuckGo identifies trackers by testing popular Android apps by looking at what kind of information is sent to which companies that are different from each app's owner,” a DuckDuckGo spokesperson told CNET in an email.
The DuckDuckGo feature is similar to Apple App Tracking Transparency tool, which helps protect user data from sharing with advertisers or third parties.
Apple's feature relies on developers to stop tracking when a device disables App Tracking Transparency, but DuckDuckGo's feature works directly on your phone to monitor network traffic and block trackers.
There are some applications, such as browsers, that are excluded from App Tracking Protection. DuckDuckGo said in its blog post that the number of deleted apps dropped by half during the waitlist period and it expects to continue shortening the list.
Here's how to enable the beta version of App Tracking Protection on your Android device.
1. Download DuckDuckGo for Android or update to the latest version. The latest version is 5.181.1.
two. Open the DuckDuckGo app.
3. Touch settings.
4. Touch Beta App Tracking Protection at the More from DuckDuckGo section.
5. Follow the on-screen instructions and you're done.
To learn more about DuckDuckGo, check out five reasons to use DuckDuckGo and what to know about DuckDuckGo Mac App It is email protection service.