Anti-tracking search engine DuckDuckGo has just updated its mobile apps and browser extensions featuring a tracker blocker for third party websites. According to TechCrunch, the revamped apps for iOS and Android, as well as the updated browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari, all include a suite of new privacy features intended to help users keep surfing privately as they browse the internet.
“Our vision has been to set the standard of trust online,” says CEO and founder Gabe Weinberg, discussing the new products. “[To date] we’ve been really focused on the search engine because it’s really complicated to compete with Google in their core market. But now that we feel we can handle that we are making progress on this broader vision of protecting people across the Internet.
Weinberg believes that privacy risks have gone completely mainstream, which is why DDG is trying to move beyond a search box. “People really want a mainstream, simple solution for privacy”. The company’s mission is to develop a “use anywhere” privacy tool that combines access to its private search engine with tracker blocking and a bundle of other privacy features like automatic encryption protection, that sends a user to an encrypted version of a website.
“The unfortunate reality is that hardly any sites really deserve an ‘A’ on privacy,” says Weinberg on this. “We can get most sites up to a ‘B’ if we can…”
Last year, DDG’s search engine served up just under 6 billion private searches, with usage up around 50% as compared to 2016.