In today’s world, we are constantly surrounded by apps and advertisements. We use them to help us with our daily lives, but many of these apps collect user data. DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focused browser, has released a new tool named “App Tracking Protection” that prevents apps from tracking Android users.
The new tool hasn’t been rolled out as part of an update to all Android phones, and it isn’t currently available as a standalone download, according to The Verge. DuckDuckGo’s privacy-focused browser app has it built-in, but it works on any device. The company stated on its blog that the tool will block “trackers it identifies.”
This new solution from DuckDuckGo tries to prevent apps from tracking Android users. The post said that the company is offering this capability for free, which it hopes will encourage developers to see protecting user privacy as a “best practice.”
“This is because App Tracking Protection uses a local ”VPN connection” which means that it works its magic right on your smartphone. However, App Tracking Protection is different from VPNs because it never routes app data through an external server,” DuckDuckGo explained in its post.
During the test, DuckDuckGo discovered that third-party trackers are included in almost 96 percent of the most popular free Android apps. As per The Verge, it also discovered that 87 percent of these apps send user data to Google, while 68% are linked with Facebook.
Tracking protection is important because “apps can easily track you in myriad ways.” Duckduckgo is hoping that its tool will “raise the bar” and ultimately make it easier for developers to embrace privacy.