Total Downloads

2,583,629

Total Files

9,206

Latest Update

10

Hands-On with DuckDuckGo App Tracking Protection

Posted November 22, 2021 | Android | Cloud | DuckDuckGo | Mobile | Windows


Last week, DuckDuckGo announced that it was adding App Tracking Protection to its mobile app on Android, and the firm was nice enough to give me an invite to the beta. And from what I can tell over several days of usage, this feature works quite well. And I’m more than a bit troubled by the secret tracking activity it’s discovered—and blocked—on my phone.

Tracking protection is simple enough on the desktop, at least for web apps: just install an extension like uBlock Origin or DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials and you’re good to go. Mobile, of course, is a bit trickier. On the iPhone, Apple added privacy controls, including mobile app anti-tracking functionality, in IOS 14.5 back in April. But we’re unlikely to see anything like that on Android. Google, after all, makes the vast majority of its revenues from advertising, and that requires them to allow tracking throughout Android.

Enter DuckDuckGo, which has found a unique solution to this problem: because Android supports the notion of a local VPN (virtual private network), the DuckDuckGo creates a fake VPN using this capability. This fake VPN doesn’t route traffic through an external server, like a real VPN does. Instead, everything happens right on your phone, and because it can run in the background perpetually, you should be protected from app-based tracking.

And my God. Is there a lot of app-based tracking in Android. Even more than I had imagined possible.

Over the past 3-4 days alone, 17 of the apps on my phone have made over 5,000 tracking attempts. Some of the apps, like the Bose Music app, are apps I have never even used since installing them, or apps I’ve only used very rarely. Some of them are from legit heavy hitters like The New York Times app or Fitbit, which is ironic since I use that app with a wearable fitness tracker.

Today alone, Fitbit has tried to track me (non-fitness-related) 85 times. The Washington Post? 22 times. United, an app I’ve not even signed into yet, has tracked me 12 times. Zillow, which I’ve never used, 35 times. The Bose Music app, 73 times. On and on it goes.

You can select any app entry to see which trackers they’re using. Dunkin’, for example, uses Verizon Media (24 attempts), Apptentive (17), New Relic (6), and, naturally, Google (2). Fitbit, meanwhile, only uses one tracker, Optimizely, but it tried to track me 115 times. What you can’t do is tap on one of these entries to see what types of things they track, which might be interesting. I Googled a few of these companies because I was curious.

If you do find an app that’s not working correctly and suspect it might be caused by DuckDuckGo, you can disable tracking for just that one app. Oddly, you can’t do that by selecting the app in a list. Instead, you must navigate to Manage Protection for Your Apps and deselect the app in that list.

One final note about the UX: because DuckDuckGo uses that local VPN capability, you’ll see a persistent VPN icon in the status bar at the top (it looks like a key). And DuckDuckGo, like a few of my other apps (like Fitbit) uses a silent notification, which also puts an icon in the status bar, this time on the left. It’s handy to have while you’re monitoring how App Tracking Protection works, but I don’t like superfluous icons in my status bar. The solution is to disable silent notifications in the status bar in Settings, or to just disable that one notification icon.

Implementation aside, DuckDuckGo takes a starkly different approach to anti-tracking than does Apple. With an iPhone, you will be prompted the first time that any app tries to track you. But with DuckDuckGo, tracking is disabled by default for all apps. I prefer that approach, but because this technology is new and it’s possible that anti-tracking could impair the functionality of certain apps. During the beta, you’re advised to look out for issues, and as noted, you can of course disable anti-tracking for apps as needed. I like it.

Tagged with



Source link

  • vans shoes
  • kyrie 4
  • lebron james shoes
  • kyrie irving shoes
  • puma fenty
  • lebron soldier 11
  • asics shoes
  • stephen curry shoes
  • pg shoes
  • puma fenty slides
  • lebron 14
  • kyrie 4
  • puma rihanna creepers
  • nmd human race
  • curry shoes
  • yeezy shoes
  • adidas nmd
  • lebron soldier 10
  • puma fenty
  • lebron soldier
  • lebron 15
  • kyrie 4
  • kd shoes
  • nike vapormax
  • stephen curry shoes
  • kyrie 4
  • kyrie 1
  • curry shoes
  • kyrie 2
  • adidas nmd shoes
  • stephen curry shoes
  • john wall shoes
  • http://www.kyrie4.us.com
  • adidas yeezy boost
  • yeezy boost
  • nike pg 2
  • kyrie irving shoes
  • adidas john wall
  • yeezy boost
  • j wall shoes
  • http://www.asicsshoes.us.com
  • curry 3 shoes
  • kyrie irving jersey
  • curry 3
  • kd 9
  • kd shoes
  • Kevin Durant shoes
  • http://www.kd-9.org
  • yeezy boost 350 v2
  • kd shoes
  • Curry 3
  • Curry 1
  • kevin durant shoes
  • yeezy boost
  • adidas nmd Runner
  • adidas nmd r1
  • kobe 10
  • adidas crazy explosive
  • air max 90
  • kobe 10 shoes
  • adidas nmd xr1
  • kobe shoes
  • curry one
  • kyrie irving shoes
  • adidas nmd
  • vans outlet
  • vans for sale
  • Curry 3
  • yeezy 350 boost
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • lebron soldier
  • under armour shoes
  • http://www.kyrie4.com
  • nike lebron soldier
  • adidas tubular instinct
  • vibram
  • vibram fivefingers
  • adidas tubular instinct boost
  • adidas ultra boost
  • adidas tubular
  • lebron soldier shoes
  • kids shoes
  • air jordan shoes
  • air max shoes
  • air force 1
  • nike air max
  • air max nike
  • lebron soldier shoes
  • soldier shoes
  • air max 90
  • air max 95
  • adidas nmd human race
  • nmd human race
  • kyrie 4
  • kobe 11
  • Curry One
  • Kobe Shoes
  • harden shoes
  • kobe 11 shoes
  • Curry 2
  • Harden 1
  • Curry 2
  • James Harden Shoes
  • lebron soldier
  • nike epic react
  • nike kyrie flytrap
  • nike epic react flyknit
  • lebron 10 soldier
  • nike lebron soldier
  • Curry Shoes 2015
  • Harden 1 Shoes
  • James Harden Shoes
  • Harden Shoes
  • James Harden 1
  • Under Armour Curry Shoes
  • kobe x
  • Kobe 10
  • Cheap Harden 1
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • kobe shoes
  • Lebron James Shoes
  • Cheap Curry Shoes
  • yeezy 950
  • Curry One Mvp
  • Nike Harden Shoes
  • Nike Kobe Shoes
  • Harden Shoes
  • Under Armour Store
  • Curry 2 Shoes
  • Curry Shoes
  • curry 1
  • curry 5
  • http://www.curry-5.us
  • Stephen Curry Shoes
  • Under Armour curry one
  • James Harden Shoes
  • stephen curry shoes
  • Steph Curry 1
  • Stephen Curry Shoes
  • kobe basketball Shoes
  • Nike Harden Shoes
  • fila shoes
  • fila
  • Nike James Harden Shoes
  • Harden Shoes For sale
  • Harden Shoes Sale
  • yeezy boost
  • new balance shoes
  • kanye west shoes
  • http://www.yeezyshoes.us.com
  • kobe x shoes
  • kd 8
  • adidas nmd xr1
  • balenciaga triple s
  • adidas yeezy boost
  • balenciaga triple s Shoes
  • adidas nmd r1
  • adidas yeezy outlet
  • adidas nmd
  • adidas nmd runner
  • adidas nmd pk
  • adidas nmd footlocker
  • adidas nmd r1 primeknit
  • new era caps
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • lebron soldier 11
  • kobe shoes
  • kyrie 3
  • nike kyrie 3
  • kyrie 3 shoes
  • air max shoes
  • yeezy boost
  • nike air max shoes
  • nike air max
  • kevin durant shoes
  • kd vii
  • kd 7
  • curry 3
  • curry 3 shoes
  • ua curry 3
  • curry 3 low
  • kyrie 3
  • adidas porsche shoes
  • adidas porsche design shoes
  • lebron james shoes
  • kobe shoes 2015
  • nike air shoes
  • nike air max shoes
  • kyrie 3
  • kyrie 3 shoes
  • nike kyire 3
  • cheap air max shoes
  • air max shoes
  • kd vii shoes
  • kd shoes
  • kevin durant shoes
  • adidas zx flux
  • adidas zx
  • jordan retro
  • nike soccer cleats
  • adidas tubular
  • adidas flux
  • cheap kd shoes
  • adidas ultra boost
  • kobe shoes nba
  • palladium boots
  • lebron soldier 10
  • air jordan 32
  • lebron soldier
  • lebron soldier shoes
  • kd 11
  • nike lebron soldier
  • air jordan retro/a>
  • cheap kobe shoes
  • soldier 10
  • adidas ultra boost shoes
  • adidas ultra boost
  • kevin durant shoes
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • jordan retro shoes
  • hyperdunk 2017
  • kd 7 shoes
  • porsche design shoes
  • curry 5
  • adidas porsche design
  • adidas shoes
  • kevin bryant shoes
  • kd shoes store
  • kd 7
  • Cristiano Ronaldo CR7
  • herve leger dresses
  • kobe shoes
  • curry 5 shoes
  • anello backpack
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • kd shoes
  • lebron shoes
  • kd sneaker
  • http://www.curry-5.com
  • adidas alphabounce
  • adidas boost
  • adidas d rose 7
  • jeremy scott adidas
  • nike sb dunk
  • jeremy scott wings
  • Nike CR7
  • jeremy scott shoes
  • js wings
  • lebron shoes
  • kobe shoes
  • balenciaga shoes
  • kobe bryant shoes
  • kyrie irving shoes
  • nike epic react flyknit
  • nike epic react
  • asics gel kayano 23
  • http://www.kyrie3.com
  • canada goose
  • lebron james shoes
  • asics gel kayano 22
  • Nike Lebron James Shoes
  • lebron soldier 12
  • Lebron James Shoes
  • asics gel lyte iii
  • adidas eqt
  • kd 10
  • nike kd 10
  • kyrie 3
  • adidas nmd womens
  • keen uneek sandals
  • prada shoes
  • air jordan 31
  • nike air poresto
  • nike air vapormax
  • nike huarache
  • nike vapormax shoes
  • nike mercurial
  • stephen curry shoes
  • kyrie irving shoes
  • kyrie irving basketball shoes
  • reebok pump fury
  • reebok pump superme
  • air max 270
  • kevin durant jersey
  • adidas iniki
  • adidas porsche design
  • lebron shoes
  • http://www.lebron-shoes.us
  • adidas porsche
  • wholesale hats
  • nike air more uptempo
  • kobe bryant jersey
  • wholesale caps
  • curry 5
  • http://www.curry-5.us
  • adidas superstar
  • curry 4
  • curry 4
  • kd 10
  • air max 270
  • Nike Pegasus 35
  • nike air max 270
  • adidas deerupt
  • supreme yeezys
  • nike kd 10
  • kevin durant 10
  • nike epic react
  • birkenstock sandals
  • nike epic react flyknit
  • nike kids shoes
  • adidas pure boost
  • lebron james shoes
  • calvin klein underwear
  • curry 4
  • birkenstock sandals
  • http://www.kyrie-4.com
  • curry 4 footlocker
  • http://www.birkenstocksandals.us.com
  • nmd r1
  • harden vol 2
  • stephen curry jersey
  • kobe shoes
  • nike roshe run
  • curry 4 shoes
  • new balance running shoes
  • ecco
  • childrens shoes
  • boys shoes
  • girls shoes
  • ecco Shoes
  • asics gel kayano 24
  • puma suede
  • kyrie 4 confetti
  • nike zoom vaporfly
  • birkenstock
  • mizuno shoes
  • ultra boost shoes
  • adidas clothing