Popular privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo is now offering an email privacy service that aims to stop ad companies from tracking users via their email.
The Verge reports that the popular privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo is now offering a new Email Protection feature that gives users a free “@duck.com” email address. When an email is sent to this address, it’s analyzed for trackers and any that are found are stripped away before being forwarded to the user’s primary email inbox. The feature will also include special disposable email addresses to avoid tracking.
The personal DuckDuckGo email address is meant to be given to friends and trusted contacts, while the disposable addresses are best used for signing up for free trials, newsletters, or anywhere that you suspect may sell your email address.
The tools implemented by DuckDuckGo are similar to anti-tracking features implemented by Apple in iOS 14 and iOS 15. DuckDuckGo has been pushing for privacy-friendly methods for various online tasks, taking on email is a major step for the company.
DuckDuckGo started out with just a search engine and has since introduced its own mobile browser and desktop browser extensions to remove trackers while browsing the internet. Email trackers exist in more than 70 percent of mailing lists, according to a 2017 study. These trackers allow advertisers to determine when a user opens an email, where they are when they open it, and which device they’re using.
DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg told The Verge: “Our high-level goal is to make simple privacy protection available for everyone anywhere they are. So we’re trying to build this into any major browser or operating system or email provider you use.”
Weinberg added: “Wherever you go online, we want to protect you.”
According to DuckDuck Go, the feature will be launching soon. You are able to sign up for their private beta test by following these steps:
- Download DuckDuckGo for iOS or Android
- Open Settings > Beta Features > Email Protection
- Click “Join the Private Waitlist.”
Read more at The Verge here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com