DuckDuckGo's App Tracking Protection is now available for public testing on all devices after only being available for a short time.

App Tracking Protection is a free feature from the privacy focused company that blocks third-party trackers within apps, even when the apps aren't actively being used. When enabled in DuckDuckGo's browser, it can detect when apps are about to send data to a list of third-party tracking companies and then block most of those data requests. You don't have to route your data through Duck DuckGo's server.

A screenshot of a phone displaying a list of apps alongside a number of tracking attempts for each app.
With the App Tracking Protection “Activity Report,” you can see which third parties are trying to track you.
Image: DuckDuckGo

At the end of last year, a private wait list was created for closed alpha testing of the App Tracking Protection feature. A new feature has been added to the tool that allows users to see what personal data is being collected by trackers in real time prior to blocking. A 50 percent reduction in apps excluded from tracking protection is one of the changes.

According to DuckDuckGo, the average user has 35 apps on their phone and can experience between 1,000 and 2,000 tracking attempts from over 70 different tracking companies daily. Over 45 tracking companies can collect user data such as location, email address, phone number, time zone, and device information using just four apps. The information can be sold to companies. Tracking data is used to build advertising profiles that target users and make them feel as if they are being listened to.

An app-tracking mindmap displaying what kind of personal information is being collected, such as device language, email adresses and GPS coordinates.
A new feature for DuckDuckGo’s App Tracking Protection tool allows Android users to see what personal data third-party trackers are attempting to track in real time.
Image: DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo claims its App Tracking Protection forANDROID is better than Apple's App Tracking transparency feature. The vice president of communications at DuckDuckGo said that Apple's App Tracking transparency tool only restricts direct access to a user's IDFA and that the rest is an honor system. App Tracking Protection blocks third-party trackers directly, making the tool more powerful than what is available on Apple's platform.

Go to settings where App Tracking Protection can be enabled if you download version 5.143.1 of DuckDuckGo forANDROID.