Why You Shouldn’t Trust DuckDuckGo With Your Privacy Any More

DuckDuckGo, the privacy search engine, is now facing massive user backlash after security researcher Zach Edwards (twitter.com/thezedwards) found that the browser was allowing Microsoft to track web surfers as part of a secret agreement between the two companies.

DuckDuckGo (DDG) is an internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers' privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. The privacy search engine does not show search results from content farms. It uses various APIs of other websites to show quick results to queries and for traditional links it uses the help of its partners and its crawler.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DuckDuckGo


DuckDuckGo advertises its search engine as the safest and most trustworthy choice for Internet users who are concerned about their privacy and anonymity while online. The company also boasts that it doesn’t track searches, behaviors, or build marketing profiles of its users that can then be sold to display advertisers.

A revelation of this secret agreement between Microsoft and DuckDuckGo certainly changes how people will continue to protect their privacy online.

A Violation Of Privacy And Trust

People have come to trust DuckDuckGo as one of the safest and most trustworthy browser choices available. But the news reveals that while Google’s and Facebook’s trackers are blocked, Microsoft, Bing, and LinkedIn traffic are being recorded and monitored.

Gabriel Weinberg, CEO, and founder of DuckDuckGo has confirmed the news to be correct and accurate.

Weinberg formally stated, “… the company never promised full anonymity when browsing.” This comes as a shock and surprise to the online community that had been misled into believing the company does provide anonymity while browsing.

“You can capture data within the DuckDuckGo so-called private browser on a website like Facebook’s workplace.com and you’ll see that DuckDuckGo does NOT stop data flow to Microsoft’s LinkedIn domains or their Bing advertising domains,” reported Zach Edwards on his Twitter feed on May 2022. “Sometimes you find something so disturbing during an audit, you’ve gotta check/recheck because you assume that *something* must be broken in the test. But I’m confident now. The new @DuckDuckGo browsers for iOS/Android don’t block Microsoft data flows, for LinkedIn or Bing.”

The Backlash Against The DuckDuckGo Search Engine

For us regular people who are looking for software and applications to help protect online privacy or online anonymity, this has caused an uproar on Twitter and Reddit. Users are uncomfortable and notably very concerned about what this now means for their digital and online privacy. DuckDuckGo was the alternative to Google’s search, offering protection, safety, privacy, and anonymity. It was the go-to browser to prevent information filtering based on personalized profiling.

This beggar the question, what else is DuckDuckGo filtering or collecting? Can we expect future whistle-blowers to reveal that DuckDuckGo filters search content based on political, ideological, or woke cultural agendas? Is DuckDuckGo collecting data and reporting it to government or police agencies here or abroad? Do we continue to trust DuckDuckGo?

For a company that so strongly preaches the right to privacy and anonymity, the optics don’t look good.

And This Is No Accident

DuckDuckGo now makes the following statement on the App Stores:

While we block all cross-site (3rd party) cookies on other sites you visit, we cannot block all hidden tracking scripts on non-DuckDuckGo sites for a variety of reasons including: new scripts pop up all the time making them difficult to find, blocking some scripts creates breakage making parts or all of the page unusable, some we are prevented from blocking due to contractual restrictions with Microsoft.

Can Your Online Privacy Be Trusted With DuckDuckGo?

No. The DuckDuckGo privacy search engine can no longer be trusted. And this is not to be spiteful or disrespectful. The trust is gone when a promise is made and then so flagrantly broken, with no transparency or respect for users.

If you’re interested in protecting your online privacy and protecting your online anonymity, PrivacyWe recommend using the Brave browser with Startpage as your default search engine and visiting pages using Anonymous View.

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