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DuckDuckGo goes beyond search with privacy app and extension

DuckDuckGo, the privacy-centric search engine, launched today a new foray into the privacy arena, aiming to protect you beyond your search queries.
The new version of the DDG mobile app is much more than a simple wrapper for the search website.

A privacy browser on mobile

The mobile app works like the Firefox Focus browser: there's a button to erase all your activity with only one tap: all your web history, cookies, search inputs will be deleted upon pressing it. In fact, DuckDuckGo mobile app acts as an always-on private browsing window, but without tabs.

Tracker blocking

But more than just an auto-erasing browser history, the new version of the app brings tracker blocking, a feature that is also available in the new browser extension called Privacy Essential for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
Rather than the number of blocked trackers you would get in the usual adblockers or privacy extensions like Ghostery, DuckDuckGo app and extension display a letter corresponding to a grading system for every website you visit.

This grade measures to what extent the website you're visiting cares about your privacy: not being secure (lacking TLS encryption) caps the grade at C, and the presence of trackers further demotes websites' grading.

Whenever a secure HTTPS version of a website is available, DDG will seamlessly redirect you to it, like EFF's dedicated https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere extension does.

Privacy Protection is the name of the tracker-blocking feature which protects you from advertising and behavioural analysis trackers alike, thus incidentally reducing the presence of ads in the websites you access.

Terms of Services, simplified.

Another parameter DDG includes in the grade is the privacy policy. But how could a browser extension or app possibly wade through the long and boring Privacy Policies and Terms of Services (TOS) of the websites you visit, wordy texts often written in legalese rather than plain English? To grade privacy policies, the search engine bases its analysis on reports by TOSDR (Terms of Service; Didn't Read). This community project strives to create plain-English and machine-readable summaries of Terms of Services for the websites and webapps you use every day.

Download the extension for Chrome or for Firefox. The extension is open-source on GitHub.

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DuckDuckGo goes beyond search with privacy app and extension
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