DuckDuckGo has opened up the beta for App Tracking Protection, giving all Android users a tool capable of detecting and blocking most third-party trackers that run in the background.
This includes trackers loaded from apps currently in use (foreground) and those that run in the background and monitor activity to siphon personal data while the user switches between apps.
App Tracking Protection is being rolled out in the latest version (5.143.1) of the DuckDuckGo browser app and can be activated through the Settings menu.
Activating App Tracking Protection through the app’s Settings
DuckDuckGo Trackers Trackers Everywhere
DuckDuckGo says that, on average, Android devices with 35 installed apps experience between 1,000-2,000 tracking events daily, with the data going to over 70 marketing companies.
The purpose of this tracking is to collect enough information about the user’s interests and help deliver targeted ads for better engagement and conversion rates. And the more data the better.
These trackers collect data points like location, phone numbers, screen resolution, device make and model, internet provider, language, and others that, when combined, can lead to persistent tracking or even de-anonymization.
Recently filed lawsuits against Apple alleged inadequacy of its App Tracking Transparency system, claiming that some apps continue to collect sensitive data even when those users declined to give consent for tracking.
How Tracker Blocking Works
DuckDuckGo has compiled a list with all known trackers, which is constantly expanded with new entries.
App Tracking Protection uses this list to detect and block trackers, stopping the data collection