DuckDuckGo is a Google search rival that safeguards your online privacy by not monetizing your profile as Google does. DuckDuckGo still makes money from online ads, but it doesn’t use your search history and online activities to target you with highly specific advertisements.
Even if you use DuckDuckGo as your preferred search engine, that doesn’t mean that other sites do not attempt to track you. Going forward, DuckDuckGo plans to protect you against these sort of trackers as well, with the help of a new app and a browser extension.
The company just launched a browser extension that works on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, as well as a smartphone app for iPhone and Android. Both products should remove trackers from Google, Facebook, and many others, automatically direct users to encrypted HTTPS sites, and provide privacy ratings for the websites you visit.
The tool isn’t an ad blocker, the company explained to FastCompany, but it can be used with one if you so desire.
“Adblockers are mostly blocking ads, and don’t always block all the hidden trackers going on,” DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg said. “Our extension is blocking all the hidden trackers but is not blocking all the ads.”
The company is also working with the Terms of Service Didn’t Read project, which analyzes privacy policies and terms of service of various sites. Based on TOSDR ratings, DuckDuckGo will display a privacy letter grade, from A to F, for every site you visit.
DuckDuckGo will not stop there and plans to improve the app and extensions in the future. Features like a built-in VPN or Tor support may be added, as long as they’d not impact the overall user experience.