DuckDuckGo Can Now Block Third-Party Trackers in Mobile Apps

The new feature, which is currently in open beta, can show you how many trackers it has blocked and from which apps.
Conor Cawley

Data harvesting companies can look elsewhere, because DuckDuckGo has launched a new feature that will block third-party trackers in the apps on your phone, even when you aren't using them.

Considering trust in the tech industry is at an all-time low due to sketchy data harvesting practices, it's safe to say this kind of feature is warranted, particularly for a browser that puts privacy and security above everything else.

DuckDuckGo already keeps ads and personalized search results away, but now you'll be able to ensure your data is secure, thanks to this new feature.

DuckDuckGo Launches App Tracking Protection Beta

DuckDuckGo announced the new feature with a Spread Privacy blog post, outlining exactly how the new feature works and how it can protect you and your data from trackers. According to the post, the feature is surprisingly simple to use:

“Just enable our App Tracking Protection and we'll automatically block all the hidden trackers we can identify as blockable across your apps.”

If you're an iPhone user, this feature is likely a bit familiar. Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature does the same, although it asks you if you'd like to be tracked rather than simply blocking by default. Still, with the majority of iPhone users selecting to not be tracked, it's safe to say DuckDuckGo might be onto something for Android users.

In addition to automatically blocking trackers in the apps on your phone, you'll also get a comprehensive dashboard view of how many trackers have been blocked and which sites they originated from. You can even see what kind of information they were trying to track, like age and location.

DuckDuckGo App Tracking Protection

Do I Need App Tracking Protection?

If you're an iPhone user, you don't need this feature, because you already have a similar feature installed on your device. However, if you're an Android user that isn't already using some kind of tracking blocker, this feature could be a gamechanger, particularly if you don't want to be tracked.

“The average Android user has 35 apps on their phone. Through our testing, we’ve found that a phone with 35 apps can experience between 1,000-2,000 tracking attempts every day and contact 70+ different tracking companies.”

That's a lot of tracking attempts! Fortunately, this feature and others like it should be able to handle the majority of your app tracking needs, so you can put it out of mind.

However, it never hurts to have a bit of extra protection when it comes to surfing the web. Tools like password managers and VPNs can really help you protect your data across all devices, securing your data and encrypting your traffic enough to keep even the most skilled of hackers at bay.

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Conor is the Lead Writer for Tech.co. For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.

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