DuckDuckGo’s latest invention is a privacy tool that lets you take control of who’s tracking you. But, how does it work and how do you use it?
Tracker Radar is a browser and extension tool that lets you block ad companies from following you around online, announced DuckDuckGo yesterday.
The tool is a combination of tracker blocking, private search and upgraded website encryption and powers the tracker protection in DuckDuckGo’s apps and extensions.
Tracker Radar works by automatically generating a file for every third-party domain you visit.
The tool collects detailed information about the domain as well as data about the parent entity associated with it. The tool then cross references that third-party domain with a list of domains owned by the parent entity to determine when that tracker is being used in a third-party context.
“For example, we found doubleclick.net on 29,758 of the sites in our current survey (68%)”, explains DuckDuckGo on its website.
“Since it is owned by Google, which has 479 domains in our data set, this means doubleclick.net is being used on sites not owned by Google ~98% of the time”.
The tool collects a range of data related to tracking behaviour through these domains.
So, how do you use Tracker Radar?
Once Tracker Radar detects a third-party tracker, it is added to DuckDuckGo’s block list.
This block list can be found built into the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser mobile apps for iOS and Android as well as the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials desktop browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
The list is also handy for developers wanting to create their own custom block lists and researchers interested in learning more about the tracking universe.
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