DuckDuckGo's New Extension Gives Websites A Privacy Grade

DuckDuckGo, the search engine that keeps your searches private, launched a revamped extension and mobile app that enable tracking protection and also grade websites based on how much they track you. The DuckDuckGo extension is available for FirefoxSafari, and Chrome, while the app is available on iOS and Android

Privacy Essentials

DuckDuckGo believes that various privacy and anti-tracking tools out there don’t offer your enough privacy protections or don’t show you the complete picture for how websites track you.

This is why beyond blocking trackers, the new DuckDuckGo tools allow you to search privately in your browser (by replacing Google in Chrome, for instance). The company has also partnered with TOSDR (Terms of Service; Didn’t Read), another service that rates websites based on how much they really care about your privacy, to integrate their score into DuckDuckGo’s own grading.

The new DuckDuckGo extension and app will also send you to the HTTPS version of websites by default, even if you were trying to visit the non-encrypted address. This feature should also serve in protecting users against against man-in-the-middle attacks. Essentially, it offers the same type of protection EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere does.

Fixing The Web's Privacy Problem

DuckDuckGo warned users that after they install the extension, they may be surprised by the results:

Once you start using the new app and browser extension, you’ll quickly notice something: hardly any website currently gets an "A" on privacy. That’s because hardly any website out there truly prioritizes your privacy.

The company thinks that because so many websites have such a poor track record on privacy, users have started to accept that they simply don’t have any privacy when using the internet. However, DuckDuckGo hopes to change that, and the company has made it its mission to make privacy a default on the web.

The company is moving beyond search to achieve that goal and promised that, over time, it will integrate even more features in its extension and mobile app to protect users’ privacy on the internet.

DuckDuckGo’s new extension and app will be open source, and the company invited contributors to participate so they can collectively raise the privacy standards on the web.

Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • phobicsq
    Tom's has a C rating....
  • atwspoon
    It's got to be due to advertising. Adtech cookies are everywhere... We would have to change or stop using online advertising to solve that privacy issue.
  • TripleHeinz
    They need to fix their search engine first, then comes the privacy. Search results are buggy, so are the competition's. I give them a -F for that.
  • atwspoon would Tom's approach an A rating? Thoughts Lucian?