it’s not as private as we thought

it’s not as private as we thought

DuckDuckGo has become the preferred alternative for those who value privacy. However, a recent discovery seems to point to the service it’s never been as private as it led us to believe. A new “hole” within the application’s terms has been reported by a security researcher, and it could bring severe consequences to users.

DuckDuckGo it has sold itself and its browser service as one focused on offering the greatest possible privacy to those who use it. However, it seems that there is one company for which the company makes an exception: Microsoft. According to Shivan Kaul Sahib, a security researcher, in his account on TwitterDuckDuckGo would reveal the user’s IP address to Redmond’s services.

This is shocking. DuckDuckGo has a search agreement with Microsoft that prevents them from blocking MS trackers. And they can’t talk about it.

This is why privacy products beholden to giant corporations can never offer true privacy; the business model just doesn’t work.

Shivan Kaul Sahib, security researcher

As you know, bing It is one of the main search engines from which DuckDuckGo draws the results to show. Thus, every time a user clicks on an ad from Redmond, the service discloses your IP address to Microsoft Advertising servers. However, this is something that many users already know, and it is explicitly described in the service website.

However, there is an even stronger twist. As detailed by Shivan Kaul Sahib, DuckDuckGo’s mobile browser does not allow to block Microsoft trackers on third party websites. Among them, we have high-level pages like Facebook or Workplace.

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DuckDuckGo CEO explains

Of course, the company has decided to comment on it. As DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg explains through posts on Twitter, Microsoft can’t access your searches in the browser. In addition, he comments that all the company’s cookies are also blocked by its services. However, by visiting a website that contains Microsoft trackers, your information will be exposed to other platforms such as Bing and LinkedIn.

Of course, something that they have not finished explaining is how Microsoft accesses data from third-party trackers. Of course, this has raised alarm among the community of supporters behind the service. Unfortunately, it seems that we will not be able to know too much either, because DuckDuckGo has already signed a confidentiality agreement with those from Redmond at the time.

Yes. Although our search syndication agreement allows us to block third-party cookies from MSFT (for example, from LI) on domains not owned by MSFT (for example, on Workplace), it currently does not allow us to do more than that. , which we have been actively working to change.
This is why privacy products beholden to giant corporations can never offer true privacy; the business model just doesn’t work.

Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo

Although DuckDuckGo has communicated that it is working hard to improve the agreements it has with Microsoft, there are certain things that attract attention in its history.

For example, we can’t help but wonder why a service that sells privacy as a standard never commented anything about it to its users. Of course we are aware of the existence of this non-disclosure agreement, but they could have saved themselves a lot of fuss by mentioning the rest of the information on their website.

The truth is DuckDuckGo does not offer the level of privacy that it has tried to sell us. It is still a good alternative if you want to keep your information safe on the internet; but now keep in mind that, at least for now, you’ll have to make an exception for Microsoft.