Today, the tools used by the advertising industry to track the activity of Internet users between several sites or several apps are poorly perceived. It is for this reason that Apple, making security and the protection of privacy its priority, blocks so-called “third-party” cookies on its Safari browser.
On the web, it is these cookies that are used to track Internet users, in order to display advertisements corresponding to their centers of interest. And on iOS, Apple already offers App Tracking Transparency. This feature blocks advertising trackers by default, and only authorizes them after user consent (via a dialog box).
Google is slow to launch its tracking protection
On Android and Google Chrome, these protections do not exist by default. However, it should be noted that as part of its Privacy Sandbox initiative, the Mountain View company intends to end support for third-party cookies on its Chrome browser. And with regard to Android apps, Google has also announced the end of individual tracking of Internet users.
However, in addition to taking into account users’ privacy concerns, the Mountain View firm must also think about the advertising industry (of which it is one of the major players). Thus, before ending tracking on Chrome and Android, Google must first implement alternatives that allow the display of relevant advertisements, while respecting privacy.
Alternatives to third-party cookies on Chrome and ad trackers on Android apps are already being tested. But in the meantime, Google continues to support existing technologies.
DuckDuckGo helps you out in the meantime?
In the meantime, if you want to enjoy the same level of protection as Apple’s iPhone, you can opt for the DuckDuckGo solution. As a reminder, this is a competing search engine of Google, whose particularity is that it is opposed to any form of tracking of the Internet user.
In addition to its zero tracking alternative to the Google search engine, DuckDuckGo also offers solutions to protect the privacy of Internet users when they are online. Among the solutions developed by the company, there is a feature for Android users that is supposed to block trackers.
The good news is that this feature is currently available in open beta. This means you can start using it now, while helping this Google competitor develop their solution.
Have you tried App Tracking Protection on our Android app yet? How many tracking attempts have you noticed? Let us know in the comments 📣 pic.twitter.com/6ZHXj19a1V
— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) November 17, 2022
“You may have heard of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT), a feature for iPhones and iPads that asks users whether or not they want to allow third-party app tracking in each of their apps. (the majority of people choosing “no”). But most smartphone users in the world actually use Android”can we read in the announcement of DuckDuckGo.
— Nathaniel Bunch (@stoicswe) November 16, 2022
He also claims that his solution, called App Tracking Protection, is even more powerful. This will automatically block all trackers that the company can identify and block on the Android operating system.
A VPN connection that blocks trackers
According to data from DuckDuckGo, an Android smartphone has an average of 35 apps. And these apps would be responsible for 1,000 to 2,000 tracking attempts a day, also trying to contact more than 70 different companies.
Against this, DuckDuckGo therefore blocks attempts by mobile applications to send data to companies included in its database. To make this possible, the company uses a local VPN connection and ensures that traffic does not pass through its servers during the process.
To take advantage of this new feature of DuckDuckGo, simply install its app on Android, then search for App Tracking Protection in the settings.