Brave Tells Truth About DuckDuckGo Privacy

August 12, 2022

DuckDuckGo advertises itself as the only search engine that protects users’ privacy. While that used to be true, unfortunately it is no longer the case. The Register explains the details in, “Brave Roasts DuckDuckGo Over Bing Privacy Exception.” Brendan Eich is the CEO of Brave, an Internet browser that blocks trackers, cookies, creepy ads, and simplifies privacy. Brave even boasts it can outmaneuver Mozilla Firefox, describing its services as limited. Eich stated that DuckDuckGo allows Microsoft Bing and LinkedIn trackers accessibility in its Android, macOS, and iOs browsers.

Eich pointed out that DuckDuckGo’s contract with Microsoft exempted LinkedIn and Bing from being blocked. DuckDuckGo claims to Eich exaggerated the claim and he was referring to ad clicks. The search engine said its ads remain private. Privacytests.org tested Brave’s assertion and they could only test the Android versions. Brave did block more ads and link tracking than DuckDuckGo. Arthur Edelstein runs privacytests.org and works for Brave. He claimed that he created privacytests.org before his Brave employment and that his tests are objective.

While the tests about Brave and DuckDuckGo might be biased, Big Tech can circumnavigate privacy blockers:

“In other words, here’s how you route around privacy protections to measure your ads, whether people want this or not. Back in 2012, when Google agreed to pay a $22.5 million civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it misled Apple Safari users by stating it would not place tracking cookies or serve them targeted ads, the issue was the gap between what Google said and did.

Here we have Microsoft Bing Ads counseling customers how its technology facilitates tracking without third-party cookies, regardless of whether users have expressed the desire not to be tracked by adopting a privacy-oriented browser.”

Currently, there are laws to protect users’ privacy, but are only enforceable if the tracking is deemed deceptive. Google was fined for dropping cookies on Safari, but only when the search engine said it would not. California has a new regiment of privacy laws, which could set the standard for the US if someone in the state complains. Until then be aware you are being tracked and your history is sold.

And how did DuckDuckGo respond? Waddled backwards.

Whitney Grace, August 12, 2022

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