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DuckDuckGo’s new tool lets you see who’s tracking you – here’s how to use it

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”.

Related: What is DuckDuckGo and should you be using it?

The tool collects a range of data related to tracking behaviour through these domains.

This includes who owns the tracker, how often it appears, fingerprinting behaviour, cookie behaviour, the company’s privacy policy, rules for specific resources and the website’s performance data to decide when a tracker is being used in a third-party context.

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.

Related: Best VPN

If you’re interested in trying out DuckDuckGo’s latest privacy tool on your phone, you can download the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser app for iOS and Android now.

You can also test the tool on your desktop with the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials desktop browser extension for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

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