DuckDuckGo Allows Microsoft Trackers on its Web Browser due to Search Agreement

Colin Thierry
Colin Thierry Writer
Colin Thierry Colin Thierry Writer

DuckDuckGo’s web browser now allows Microsoft trackers on third-party sites due to an agreement in the syndicated search content contract between the two companies.

While DuckDuckGo does not store any personal identifiers with your searches, Microsoft advertising may track your IP address and other sensitive information for “accounting purposes.” However, these trackers are not associated with a user advertising profile.

DuckDuckGo offers a web browser for iOS and Android that comes with many privacy features, including encryption, third-party cookie blocking, and tracker blocking.

“Tracker Radar automatically blocks hidden third-party trackers we can find lurking on websites you visit in DuckDuckGo, which stops the companies behind those trackers from collecting and selling your data,” says the Apple App Store page for the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser.

While conducting a security audit of this privacy browser, however, security researcher Zach Edwards found that DuckDuckGo allowed Microsoft trackers to continue running (while blocking Google and Facebook trackers).

Further tests revealed that DuckDuckGo allowed trackers relating to the bing.com and linkedin.com domains while blocking all others.

In response to Edwards’ Twitter thread, DuckDuckGo CEO and Founder Gabriel Weinberg confirmed that the browser intentionally allows Microsoft trackers third-party sites due to a search syndication agreement with the company.

However, Weinberg clarified that this restriction is only for their browser and does not impact the DuckDuckGo search engine.

The DuckDuckGo CEO later replied to a tweet from BleepingComputer saying that the company is working to remove this restriction from their agreement with Microsoft and to be more transparent in app store descriptions.

“In addition, we are working with Microsoft to remove this limited restriction the article refers to. We’re also working on updates to our app store descriptions to have more information. Hope this is helpful context,” tweeted Weinberg.

About the Author

About the Author

Colin Thierry is a former cybersecurity researcher and journalist for SafetyDetectives who has written a wide variety of content for the web over the past 2 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, watching sports, and playing video games.