The CEO of cryptocurrency-oriented browser (opens in a new tab) Brave has criticized rival DuckDuckGo for its affiliation with Microsoft and the broader controversy over online tracking (opens in a new tab).
For the uninitiated, it was recently discovered that DuckDuckGo's mobile browser allows Microsoft's (opens in a new tab) trackers to work, while blocking Google and Facebook's. Zach Edwards, the security researcher who first discovered the issue, also later discovered that crawlers linked to the bing.com and linkedin.com domains were also able to get through the blocks.
"In order to block non-search related trackers (for example, in our browser), we block most third-party trackers (opens in new tab)," DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg said at the time. “Unfortunately, our Microsoft search syndication agreement prevents us from doing more for Microsoft-owned properties. However, we have been pushing hard and plan to do more soon."
But now Brave CEO Brendan Eich said Edwards wasn't clear why DuckDuckGo also allows Microsoft trackers to bypass third-party cookie blocking, via added URL parameters.
"Trackers try to bypass cookie blocking by adding identifiers to URL query parameters, to identify you across sites," he said, adding that DuckDuckGo knows all about this.
"DuckDuckGo removes 'gclid' from Google and 'fbclid' from Facebook," Eich said.
“Try it out for yourself by visiting https://example.org/?fbclid=sample in the [DuckDuckGo]macOS browser. The 'fbclid' value is removed. However, DuckDuckGo does not apply this protection to the Microsoft 'msclkid' query parameter. Microsoft documentation states that 'msclkid' exists to bypass third-party cookie protections in browsers (including the Safari browser engine used by DDG on Apple operating systems)."
DuckDuckGo vehemently disagrees with Eich's conclusions, saying he misleads readers.
“What Brendan seems to be referring to here is just our clicks, which are protected in our agreement with Microsoft as strictly unprofiled (private),” The Register (opens in a new tab) quoted an operator as saying. society.
“I mean, these ads are privacy protected and the way you present them is ultimately misleading. Brendan, of course, kept the fact that our listings are private and that there's really nothing here, as it was all leaked."