Owner security

DuckDuckGo lets Microsoft track data and find a security researcher

Advertiser trackers that sell and trade user data are supposed to be blocked by the DuckDuckGo browser. But a security researcher found that it allowed Microsoft to track data through LinkedIn and Bing advertising domains.

DuckDuckGo’s website includes a page stating that it has an agreement with Microsoft to display advertisements alongside search results. He says the tech giant doesn’t store or use click-through behavior data to profile users, but he doesn’t mention trackers sending data through LinkedIn and Bing.

In response to the allegations, DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg admitted that the company’s deal with Microsoft requires it to license Microsoft trackers.

Weinberg says his company remains more private than other browsers because it blocks the majority of non-Microsoft third-party trackers. DuckDuckGo is negotiating with Microsoft to remove this clause and will modify App Store page descriptions in the mobile browser to better inform users.

The company executive clarified on Twitter: “Unfortunately, our Microsoft search syndication agreement prevents us from doing more for Microsoft-owned properties. However, we have continuously pushed and hope to do more soon.

He also said that although the syndication agreement contains a confidentiality clause that limits the sharing of details, DuckDuckGo has worked to change these requirements.

The CEO said on May 24, “We are planning an update to be released soon that will incorporate additional third-party security from Microsoft.”

It should be noted that security researcher Zack Edwards first shared details related to the findings on DuckDuckGo – which considers itself a direct competitor to Google Search – in a series of tweets.

In recent months, after Russia sent troops to Ukraine, DuckDuckGo users criticized the platform as soon as the CEO announced that the company would take significant steps that would downgrade Russian-associated sites that spread misinformation.

Many Twitter users reacted to Weinberg’s tweet with mostly unfavorable remarks about the decision, accusing the company of censorship and bias in search results.

But Weinberg said, “The whole point of DuckDuckGo is privacy. The interest of the search engine is to display more relevant content rather than less relevant content, and that is what we continue to do.

At the time, he also told a Twitter user: “Search engines, by definition, try to put more relevant content higher and less relevant content lower – that’s not censorship, it’s search ranking relevance.”

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