DuckDuckGo tracker removal email service which has been in private beta for a year is now available open to everyone using a DuckDuckGo mobile app, browser extension, or Mac browser. A few more privacy tools have also been added.
The service provides you with a Duck.com email address to be given out for the kind of “Sign up for our newsletter for a 20 percent discount” email that you know is just for that to collect data and target you for ads. Emails sent to your duck.com address will be forwarded to your selected primary email address – but without a tracker.
Email Protection now also repairs links, removes tracking modifiers, upgrades unencrypted HTTP URLs to HTTPS when possible, and allows you to send directly from your duck address instead of exposing your primary email address for that rarely needed reply. During closed beta, DuckDuckGo claims that 85 percent of emails processed contained hidden trackers.
To sign up for email protection, you must either have the DuckDuckGo mobile app for iOS or Androiduse The DuckDuckGo browser extension on Firefox, Chrome, Edge or Brave, or use the beta Mac browser (list must be joined in DuckDuckGo mobile app).
In my experience, using the company’s apps, extensions, or browser isn’t required to keep the email forwarding service working, but they do allow you to autofill your duckling address and send more custom throwaway email addresses create, which is handy for email filtering.
DuckDuckGo notes that the trackers stuck in email images and links can return information to the sender about when you opened a message, your geolocation when you opened it, and what device you used. Knowing your primary email address can also allow companies to connect you to Facebook and Google and target you for advertising across locations.
The company helpfully notes that it will not track you with its anti-tracking service. “When your Duck Addresses receives an email, we immediately apply our tracking protection and then forward it to you without storing it in our systems. Sender info, subject lines… we don’t track any of that,” the company writes in its blog post. DuckDuckGo is also “a long-term commitment to email protection” and says it worked during closed beta to support millions of users.
Promotional image by DuckDuckGo
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