October 2, 2022

Brighton Journal

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DuckDuckGo now offers anti-tracking email to everyone

DuckDuckGo now offers anti-tracking email to everyone
Zoom / Now available in public beta, DuckDuckGo’s email protection gives you an email address that will strip trackers of emails and forward the rest to you.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo tracker removal email service, which has been in private beta for a year, is now open to all Who uses the DuckDuckGo mobile app, browser extension, or Mac browser. It has also added a few privacy tools.

The service provides you with a duck.com email address, a custom email address to provide for the type of “subscribe to our newsletter at 20 percent off” emails that you know are only there to collect data and target you for ads. Email sent to your duck.com address is directed to the primary email you chose — but with the trackers removed.

Email Protection now also fixes links, strips them of tracking modifiers, upgrades unencrypted HTTP addresses to HTTPS where possible and, for the rare necessary reply, lets you send directly from your duck address instead of exposing your primary email. During the closed beta, DuckDuckGo claims that 85 percent of the emails it handles contain hidden trackers.

To sign up for email protection, you’ll need to use either the DuckDuckGo mobile app for iOS or Androiduse DuckDuckGo Browser Extension On Firefox, Chrome, Edge, or Brave, or use Files Mac Beta Browser (List to include in the DuckDuckGo mobile app).

In my experience, using the company’s apps, extensions, or browser isn’t necessary to keep your email forwarding service running, but it does let you autofill your duck address and create more single email addresses, which is handy for email filtering.

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DuckDuckGo's Email Protection removes trackers typically included in commercial emails that send back the time they were opened, the location and the device used, among other data.
Zoom / DuckDuckGo’s Email Protection removes trackers typically included in commercial emails that send back the time they were opened, the location and the device used, among other data.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo notes that trackers in email images and links can transmit information back to the sender about when the message was opened, your geographical location when it was opened, and the device you were using. Knowing your primary email address can allow companies to associate it with Facebook and Google and target you for cross-site advertising.

The company helpfully notes that they will not track you using the anti-tracking service. “When your duck addresses receive email, we immediately apply our tracking protection measures and then forward them to you, never storing them on our systems. Sender information, subject line… We don’t track any of them,” the company writes in the special blog post. out. DuckDuckGo is also committed to long-term email protection, and states that it worked through its closed beta to support millions of users.

Picture list by DuckDuckGo