DuckDuckGo comes clean, begins blocking Microsoft scripts

August 8, 2022
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The duck comes clean! DuckDuckGo came under fire in May of this year, after the search engine came under the spotlight for the agreement it had in place with Microsoft for search syndication.

The long and short of it was that the browsers that the company launched for iOS and Android platforms were found to not be blocking data for LinkedIn and Bing — two of the most popular Microsoft online services.

This drew a fair amount of criticism towards DuckDuckGo and its reputation for user privacy.

Good thing then that the company has come clean.

It has confirmed in a blog post today that it is expanding the block list to include scripts from Microsoft in its browsing apps on both mobile platforms as well as its extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Opera.

The site goes into further detail about the improvements it is making with regards to privacy and transparency across its services, as DuckDuckGo aims to restore trust with its core user base.

But the reason explained for this oversight — deliberate or not — in the first place by the company is that it was due to a policy requirement related to the company’s use of Bing as a source for its private search results.

Fancy way of putting it, but there you go!

DuckDuckGo does go on to confirm that there are no similar limitations with other companies. And, in fact, the scripts were never embedded in the search engine or apps, and equally importantly, they never sent any information to DuckDuckGo.

Microsoft for its part has also committed to not profile users from DuckDuckGo on ad clicks, even though advertisement on the site is done with a partnership between both companies.

At the moment, there is a reliance on a tracker to detect conversions for ad clicks, but work is underway to replace this with a private architecture in the future.

Glad to see this sorted.

Article Categories:
Controversy · Featured · Microsoft · Privacy · Services

Fahad Ali is a professional freelancer, specializing in technology, web design and development and enterprise applications. He is the primary contributor to this website. When he is not typing away on his keyboard, he is relaxing to some soft jazz.

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