Brave CEO Brendan Eich blasted rival privacy-focused browser DuckDuckGo for its Bing and LinkedIn trackers exemption in its Android, macOS, and iOS apps. DuckDuckGo has a contract with Microsoft that exempts the Big Tech from the privacy defenses.
“For non-search tracker blocking (e.g. in our browser), we block most third-party trackers,” DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg explained in May. “Unfortunately our Microsoft search syndication agreement prevents us from doing more to Microsoft-owned properties. However, we have been continually pushing and expect to be doing more soon.”
Eich said the explanation was not genuine because DuckDuckGo also has exceptions that allow Microsoft trackers despite the use of third-party cookie blockers.
“Trackers try to get around cookie blocking by appending identifiers to URL query parameters, to ID you across sites,” Eich explained, adding that DuckDuckGo knows that because it blocks advertisers such as Facebook and Google from circumventing third-party cookie blockers.
DuckDuckGo, the search engine which claims to offer ‘real privacy’ because it doesn’t track searches or store users’ history, has come under fire after a security researcher discovered that the mobile DuckDuckGo browser app contains a third-party tracker from Microsoft.
Researcher Zach Edwards found that while Google and Facebook’s trackers are blocked, trackers related to bing.com and linkedin.com were also being allowed through.
In response to the revelation, CEO Gabriel Weinberg essentially shrugged – telling BleepingComputer that the company offers “above-and-beyond protection” that other browsers don’t, but that he ‘never promised’ anonymity when browsing.
“We have always been extremely careful to never promise anonymity when browsing, because that frankly isn’t possible given how quickly trackers change how they work to evade protections and the tools we currently offer,” he said.
DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg on Wednesday announced the rollout of a new Google-style censorship scheme to down-rank websites he says are “associated with Russian disinformation.”
“Like so many others I am sickened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the gigantic humanitarian crisis it continues to create. #StandWithUkraine️,” Weinberg tweeted. “At DuckDuckGo, we’ve been rolling out search updates that down-rank sites associated with Russian disinformation.”
“In addition to down-ranking sites associated with disinformation, we also often place news modules and information boxes at the top of DuckDuckGo search results (where they are seen and clicked the most) to highlight quality information for rapidly unfolding topics,” he continued.