Microsoft trackers run afoul of DuckDuckGo, get added to blocklist

DuckDuckGo, the privacy-minded search company, says it will start blocking trackers from Microsoft in its mobile apps and browser extensions, following revelations in May that certain script from Bing and LinkedIn were getting a pass.

Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo, said in a post that he's heard users' concerns since a security researcher said that they didn't meet their expectations. Microsoft will be added to the list of third-party tracking script blocked from loading on pages in the company's mobile browsing apps and browser extensions. A DuckDuckGo spokesman explained the timing of the company's blocklist updates. Ars was confused.

Due to a policy requirement related to our use of Bing as a source for our private search results, we were limited in how we could apply our 3rd-party tracker loading protection on microsoft tracking script. This is no longer the case and we are happy about it. We don't have any similar limitations with any other company.

There are many things that load up on most modern websites. DuckDuckGo's default blocking of third-party websites was a problem. Due to a policy requirement, DuckDuckGo had to allow some of Microsoft's trackers to load. Weinberg pointed out that Microsoft's trackers were still blocked in most ways, like using third-party cookies.


The delicate dance between DuckDuckGo and Microsoft is more than just a tracker. Microsoft gives ads that run on DuckDuckGo. The DuckDuckGo apps won't block requests from to allow advertisers to see when someone has clicked an ad on DuckDuckGo. Weinberg suggests that you turn off ads in DuckDuckGo search completely. Weinberg writes that the company is working on non- tracking ads, similar to the work done by browsers.

Duck DuckGo wants to be more open about its blocking. A new help doc on its tracking protections was published on the company's website yesterday.

It can look like a lot of work, but then DuckDuckGo lives inside the tricky balance of trying to make its search product convenient and relevant while offering its users as much privacy as websites can stand before breaking The 15-year-old company from Pennsylvania cannot leave Bing behind completely. Most of its traditional search results are from Bing, according to Weinberg. Due to the billion-dollar cost, only two companies have a high-quality global web link index. The company that provides search to the world faces either a duopoly or a very long journey.

Microsoft's advertising revenue was $3 billion for the quarter, an increase of 15 percent year over year but the lowest growth rate in more than a year.