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Breaking down DuckDuckGo’s Microsoft tracking controversy


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Reclaim The Net

The privacy-focussed company has been accused of using Microsoft trackers.

Didi Rankovic

May 31 2022

How about a Big Tech “privacy-friendly alternative” that’s, in reality, teaming up and working closely with Microsoft – and appears to put faith in the ethics of a notoriously and historically unethical corporate giant? And what if this “alternative” has a tracking deal with Microsoft?

A pretty bleak prospect, considering that these massive corporations are about as bad as each other where monopolistic behavior, user tracking, and data harvesting is concerned.

But that is precisely what DuckDuckGo (DGG) – a “Google Search alternative” search engine and browser that has lately been stumbling from one credibility-undermining controversy to another – is now being accused of. And once again, its CEO Gabriel Weinberg is in full damage control mode on social networks, denying that anything’s wrong – but not so much by clearly explaining the situation, as by talking in circles to justify it.

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(Snip)

The behavior seems all the more disingenuous since the discovery comes at a time when web users are more aware than ever of the danger of tracking, data collection, and sharing, and are putting their faith in what appear to be real alternatives.

Previously this year, DuckDuckGo was accused of removing “pirate” sites and links to tools such as youtube-dl from its search results. Weinberg at that time once again denied any malice, saying there was “a problem” only for those using the site operator, adding that “it’s rare for people to use it.”

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