DuckDuckGo will block more Microsoft ad tracking scripts to improve browser privacy

Following the unveiling in May of the privacy-focused DuckDuckGo (DDG) web browser Allows Microsoft scripts to be tracked On third-party websites, the company says now It will start blocking those as well. It was DuckDuckGo Browser Third-party tracker download protection by default It did block embed scripts on websites from Facebook, Google, and others, but so far Microsoft scripts from Bing and LinkedIn domains (but not third-party cookies) have been a pass.

A security researcher named Zack Edwards indicated exclusion Which he apparently disclosed while auditing browser privacy claims, and noted that it’s particularly intriguing because Microsoft is the partner serving ads in the DDG search engine (while promising not to use this data to create a monitored user profile for ad targeting, rather than relying on in context to determine which ones should appear).

DuckDuckGo CEO Gabe Weinberg said at the time The reason for this is the Research Guild Agreement With Microsoft, and more Updates On the prevention of third-party tracking measures were to come. Backlash ensued, with some exploiting DuckDuckGo’s words that “tracking tracks,” a phrase the company used against Google’s cookies to replace its “privacy sandbox” advertising technology.

Now Weinberg Writes in a blog post, “I have heard from a number of users and realize that we did not meet their expectations regarding one of our browser’s web-tracking protections.” DuckDuckGo pledges to be more transparent about the trackers that its browser and extensions protect users from, Make his block tracking lists available and provide users with more information on how to protect tracking with New help page.

In a letter to the edgeMost of Microsoft’s scripts have already been blocked by other browser protections, said Camille Buzzaz, the company’s vice president of communications, claiming, “We’ve been testing to see how much blocking is happening as a result of this new update and based on the top 1,000 sites, we’ve found that the increase was only 0.25%”.

One thing that won’t be blocked by default after the changes roll out this week, is their scripts They are loaded immediately after a user clicks on one of DDG’s search ads, which it says are used on advertisers’ sites to measure the effectiveness of the advertisement. But the blog post notes that DuckDuckGo’s third-party tracker load protection will block Microsoft scripts “in all other contexts”. According to Weinberg, users have the option to avoid this by disabling ads in DuckDuckGo’s search settings. DuckDuckGo says it, like some other companies, is working on non-profiling technology to replace scripts, but that’s not ready yet.

DuckDuckGo’s criticism continues to focus on Google’s ad profiles and all the data they tend to collect from its various products, and justifiably – given Google’s parent company Alphabet Profits $257 Billion in 2021Most of it came from ads.

But there’s also more than enough reason to monitor Microsoft’s advertising efforts, too. Beyond that Dealing to support the ad-supported streaming service from Netflixlike that Earning billions of dollars from internet ads. He built a platform capable of working across platforms Its ad tech giant can reach More than a billion people. If DuckDuckGo promises its users more comprehensive protection than other browsers, it will have to keep proving it, and only extra transparency can help.

Update 8:25AM ET: note scripts have been updated, it is allowed to load them immediately after clicking on an ad, but not in other cases.