DuckDuckGo is the preeminent privacy-oriented search engine and the company is taking it a step further by releasing a tool to help expose hidden tracking.
As the company points out, a quality tracking blocker is critical to online privacy. Without one, advertisers can amass a shocking amount of detail about web users, including location history, browsing history, shopping history and more. Combining the data they collect can even give them a pretty good idea of exactly how old a user is, their ethnicity, preferences and habits.
When the company started exploring possibilities, it was not happy with the state of current options.
“When we set out to add tracker protection, we found that existing lists of trackers were mostly manually curated, which meant they were often stale and never comprehensive,” reads the company’s announcement. “And, even worse, those lists sometimes break websites, which hinders mainstream adoption. So, over the last couple of years we built our own data set of trackers based on a crawling process that doesn’t have these drawbacks. We call it DuckDuckGo Tracker Radar. It is automatically generated, constantly updated, and continually tested.
“Today we’re proud to release DuckDuckGo Tracker Radar to the world, and are also open sourcing the code that generates it. This follows our recent release of our Smarter Encryption data and crawling code (that powers the upgraded website encryption component in our apps and extensions).
Tracker Radar is included in DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Browser for iOS and Android, as well as the Privacy essentials browser extension for Safari, Firefox and Chrome on the desktop. Developers can also download Tracker Radar and include it in their own tools.