DuckDuckGo is expanding its app tracking protection tool by making it available to all Android users in a new update.

The feature was originally released in late 2021 as a limited beta on DuckDuckGo's mobile browser and its core functionality remains the same.

When enabled, App Tracking Protection (opens in a new tab) can detect when a smartphone app is about to send data to a third-party tracker and blocks those requests — at least most of them. between them. Included function in segundo plano in case of which a rastreador who will compile data in silence mientras duermes.

Work in progress

The company claims that App Tracking Protection uses a "local VPN connection" to work and does not send any data to DuckDuckGo or a remote server.

Lo nuevo en la versión beta pública es un visor en tiempo real que muestra todo lo bloqueado. Esto incluye quién es el rastreador externo infractor y qué datos recopila de usted. Si habilita las notificaciones, obtendrá un resumen rápido (se abre en una nueva pestaña) que le indicará cuántos intentos de seguimiento se han bloqueado en su teléfono. DuckDuckGo también ha puesto a disposición del público su enorme lista de bloqueo de empresas en GitHub (se abre en una pestaña nueva) porque puede impedir que empresas como Google y Adobe recopilen datos.

If all of this sounds familiar, iPhones have something similar called App Tracking Transparency. However, it may not be the best. Kamyl Bazbaz, DuckDuckGo's vice president of communications, told The Verge (opens in a new tab) last year that Apple's tool only blocks a user's identification from advertisers and nothing special. Developers are also not required to honor a user's choice not to be tracked.

Users can test App Tracking Protection by updating their DuckDuckGo browser on their Android phone to the latest version or downloading it from the Google Play Store (opens in a new tab). To enable the protection, users will need to go to the browser's settings and then go through the onboarding process.

There is still work to be done on the protection tool. A company representative told us that there are still third-party trackers that DuckDuckGo may not have known they should add to the block list. Users may also experience protections in other apps disabled due to the beta version. The company is asking for feedback from users to improve app tracking protection. You can do this by opening the Settings menu in the app and selecting Share Feedback.

Cuando se le preguntó sobre una posible versión beta de iOS, el mismo representante de la compañía nos dijo que DuckDuckGo lo está investigando.

New discoveries

Much of the announcement was devoted to showing how third-party trackers work. Looking through the results, it is quite insidious.

According to DuckDuckGo, "the average Android user has 35 apps on their phone." A mobile device with so many apps can experience up to 2000 tracking attempts per day. DuckDuckGo has also found that these trackers collect a lot of personal data, including your email address, phone number, exact location, and even device information. Someone may know what type of phone you have, its screen resolution, and local internet service providers.

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