UPDATE: DuckDuckGo has said that it would strictly regulate Microsoft trackers.

The business says (Opens in a new window) has announced that it will “expand the third-party tracking scripts we block from loading on websites to include scripts from Microsoft in our browsing apps (iOS and Android) and our browser extensions (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera), with beta apps following in the coming month.”

The bat.bing.com domain, a feature of Microsoft Advertising that enables advertisers to monitor if people’s clicks resulted in purchases, is an exception.

“Currently, 3rd-Party Tracker Loading Protection will prevent bat.bing.com requests from loading on an advertiser’s website after DuckDuckGo ad clicks if the advertiser wants to track conversions for their own ads that are displayed on the search engine, but these requests are blocked in all other situations. The DuckDuckGo search settings offer the option to block adverts for those who want to avoid this “says DuckDuckGo.

Original Story 5/25: Despite claiming to “automatically prevent hidden third-party trackers” for its customers, DuckDuckGo’s browser for iOS, Android, and macOS purportedly permits Microsoft trackers to function.

Security researcher Zach Edwards made this loophole to DuckDuckGo’s tracker safeguards known on May 23, BleepingComputer reports (Opens in a new window) . Edwards provided proof that the browser used by DuckDuckGo permitted trackers from LinkedIn and Bing to load on the Workplace website:

Tweet (Opens in a new window) DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg stated in an said (Opens in a new window) on May 23 that his business has “been continuously pushing and anticipate to be doing more shortly” despite the fact that “our Microsoft search syndication deal restricts us from doing more to Microsoft-owned properties.”

How precisely DuckDuckGo manages Microsoft’s trackers is still a mystery. Weinberg asserts

Additional clarity was provided by Tweet (Opens in a new window) Weinberg in an post (Opens in a new window) on the Hacker News forum:


“Our search syndication agreement currently forbids us from blocking Microsoft-owned scripts from loading on non-DuckDuckGo and non-Microsoft websites in our browsers, while we may still apply our browser’s protections post-load (like 3rd party cookie blocking and others mentioned above, and do). Additionally, we have been fervently attempting to alter this specific restriction behind the scenes. I am aware that this is confusing because we are unable to carry out a non-search activity due to a search syndication contract. This is so since our offering is a collection of various privacy safeguards, and the search syndication agreement imposes on us the need to distribute our product. Additionally, our syndication agreement contains extensive confidentiality clauses, and the requirement documents themselves are labelled as private.”

Additionally, DuckDuckGo has changed the App Store (Opens in a new window) ‘s description of its browser to read as follows: “Remarks Regarding Our Tracker Blocking: Although we disable all cross-site (3rd party) cookies on other websites you visit, we are unable to disable all hidden tracking scripts on non-DuckDuckGo websites for a number of reasons, including the fact that new scripts are constantly being developed, making it difficult to detect them, the fact that disabling some scripts causes the page to break, and the fact that we are prohibited from disabling some scripts because of contractual obligations with Microsoft.”

A representative for DuckDuckGo told us in a statement: “We are taking many measures, such as disabling third-party cookies, to prevent “Microsoft” tracking. The claim that we don’t block any Microsoft traffic at all is untrue. The agreement does not affect all of the privacy protections we provide; only one of them.” The agreement with Microsoft “has no bearing on our search results,” it was further emphasized.

The spokesperson adds that DuckDuckGo has “never promised 100% protection because it’s not possible for a number of reasons” and that “people who use the DuckDuckGo browser on mobile or macOS (in beta) are still getting significantly more privacy protection by default with DuckDuckGo than they would with Safari, Firefox, Chrome and other browsers.”

GET THE BEST NEWS FROM US! For daily delivery of our best stories to your inbox, sign up for What’s New Now.

Advertisements, discounts, and affiliate links could be found in this newsletter. You agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy by subscribing to a newsletter. You are always free to unsubscribe from the newsletters.


You may also like