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DuckDuckGo App and Extension Upgrades Offer Privacy 'Beyond the Search Box' (theverge.com) 48

An anonymous reader quotes the Verge: DuckDuckGo is launching updated versions of its browser extension and mobile app, with the promise of keeping internet users safe from snooping "beyond the search box." The company's flagship product, its privacy-focused search engine, will remain the same, but the revamped extension and app will offer new tools to help users keep their web-browsing as safe and private as possible. These include grade ratings for websites, factoring in their use of encryption and ad tracking networks, and offering summaries of their terms of service (with summaries provided by third-party Terms of Service Didn't Read). The app and extension are available for Firefox, Safari, Chrome, iOS, and Android.

The ability to block ad tracking networks is probably the most important feature here. These networks are used by companies like Google and Facebook to follow users around the web, stitching together their browsing history to create a more accurate profile for targeted advertising.

DuckDuckGo calls it "a major step to simplify online privacy," adding that without it, "It's hard to use the Internet without it feeling a bit creepy -- like there's a nosey neighbor watching everything you do from across the street."
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DuckDuckGo App and Extension Upgrades Offer Privacy 'Beyond the Search Box'

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  • is just that: a promise. At the end of the day, DDG is a free service: where the hell do you think they generate revenues from? I want to believe their concern for privacy and their offer to help are genuine. But ultimately they drink from the same well as Google and their ilk

    So thanks but no thanks. I'll take care of my own privacy with Noscript, Open Referer Control, uBlock Origin, User-Agent Switcher, Ghostery, Cookie Autodelete, Greasemonkey, Tor and all the others thank you very much.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Saturday January 27, 2018 @05:34PM (#56016485)

      I'll take care of my own privacy with Noscript, Open Referer Control, uBlock Origin, User-Agent Switcher, Ghostery, Cookie Autodelete, Greasemonkey, Tor and all the others thank you very much.

      The irony here is these are also all “free services”, not so different from DuckDuckGo. Have you personally done a code audit on each one?

      DuckDuckGo sells clearly-marked ads - they tell you that, and they ask (but do not require) that you whitelist their site so they can make some money on serving you search results. I can live with that.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        DuckDuckGo are just serving reality, unlike the marketing lies of Google. Reality is marketing should always target content and never the user. The user searches for content and that content should then be targeted with aligned content. This allows marketing to be ahead of user purchasing decisions, rather than pretending by targeting ads after user purchasing decisions.

        Google were really quite scammy, targeting advertisers and convincing them, that Google could control end user by targeted marketing, the

        • The problem I've found with targeted advertising? Just forget the privacy implications or any of that but just look at the concept itself...it just doesn't work at selling you anything, it just annoys the hell out of you!

          I'll use myself as an example, when all the "OMG targeted adverts OMG!" thing hit I decided to see what it was all about so I left all adblocking of the box I use at work? Result? They sold me exactly ZERO PRODUCTS when compared to those that simply based their ads on what type of site it w

    • At the end of the day, DDG is a free service: where the hell do you think they generate revenues from?

      You need a history lesson. [wired.co.uk]

      How does it make money?

      While many websites and search engines collect data on you to sell to advertisers, DuckDuckGo takes a different approach – keywords.

      "If you type in 'car' you get a car ad, if you type in 'mortgage' you get a mortgage ad," Weinberg said. "We don't need to know about you or your search history to deliver a lucrative ad." Weinberg added tht DuckDuckGo doesn't need "a lot of adverts" to make money and keywords are all it needs.

      With a whooping 45 employees, it doesn't take much money to keep the site going.

  • In a nutshell, the problem with DuckDuckGo is that it sucks. Or at least it did, a few months ago, when I used as my only search engine for two weeks. In the end, I had to go back to Google - they are just on an altogether different level. I really hope that DuckDuckGo will improve, and will eventually become comparable to Google. It is not there yet.
    • by crmarvin42 ( 652893 ) on Saturday January 27, 2018 @07:04PM (#56016949)
      I use it as my default engine, and use Google as my fall back if DDG fails. It gives DDG the chance to be âoegood enoughâ, letâ(TM)s me find what I need when it isnâ(TM)t, and denies Google most of my everyday searches. It doesnâ(TM)t need to be the best to be worth using. I end up back at google infrequently unless Iâ(TM)m needing to find scientific writing.
      • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Saturday January 27, 2018 @07:40PM (#56017129)

        I do the same thing you’re describing.

        I will add that, in my experience, when DuckDuckGo doesn’t deliver what I want... generally Google also fails to do so nowadays. Frankly, I think Google’s search is not as good as it once was - people have finally figured out how to consistently game it.

        • I do the same thing you’re describing.

          I will add that, in my experience, when DuckDuckGo doesn’t deliver what I want... generally Google also fails to do so nowadays. Frankly, I think Google’s search is not as good as it once was - people have finally figured out how to consistently game it.

          Pretty much this. I'll try Google if no joy with DDG, but my experience since changing over to DDG is that Google returns more but less useful results.

        • I agree that Googles quality has fallen. Lots of results on page one missing the first word in my search term, Lot of SEO garbage no one actually wants, etc. My biggest gripe is how they've managed to break the "Back" button. Use google to fine a page, click to it, decide to back, but the "Back" button just reload the current page because when you clicked on a google link it actually loaded 2 pages sequentially. Happens almost every day at work (where DDG isn't an option).
        • by pots ( 5047349 )
          I still do better with Google results most of the time, but I get those from Startpage [startpage.com] when I need them. DuckDuckGo mostly returns Bing results, Startpage mostly (exclusively?) returns Google results, and between the two of them I can find whatever I need.
    • In a nutshell, the problem with DuckDuckGo is that it sucks. Or at least it did, a few months ago, when I used as my only search engine for two weeks. In the end, I had to go back to Google - they are just on an altogether different level. I really hope that DuckDuckGo will improve, and will eventually become comparable to Google. It is not there yet.

      I've tried DDG a few times and always go back to Startpage.com for the same reason.

    • In a nutshell, the problem with DuckDuckGo is that it sucks. Or at least it did, a few months ago, when I used as my only search engine for two weeks. In the end, I had to go back to Google - they are just on an altogether different level. I really hope that DuckDuckGo will improve, and will eventually become comparable to Google. It is not there yet.

      I disagree. I started using DuckDuckGo after google asked employees for their opinions and then fired that guy when he offered suggestions on how to get more women into IT. I find DuckDuckGo's results to be at least as good as google if not better because it has fewer spammy sites. Only place DuckDuckGo fails is local search, like if you're trying to find out what time your local Taco Bell closes it doesn't bring up local searches as first, it would give you the corporate website.

      I'm pretty happy not

  • So, now when I open Safari I get an unrequested DuckDuckGo tab displayed, even without actually using the extension during that session. Looks like DuckDuckGo is DuckDuckGone on my system.

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