PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — How is that website respecting your privacy? A Chester County company behind a popular search engine aims to answer that question with a new app.
The free iPhone and Android app by DuckDuckGo extends the power of the Paoli firm’s anonymous search.
“People are going to be very surprised. On almost every site you visit, there are are a bunch of hidden trackers, and we’re trying to expose them,” said CEO Gabriel Weinberg.
He says the DuckDuckGo browser blocks those trackers from players like Google and Facebook, so you can avoid what he calls “creepy targeted ads” and “biased search results.”
“We’re also going to do some other things for you in terms of privacy: we’re going to send you to an encrypted version of the site, if possible, which blocks ISPs from eavesdropping on you,” Weinberg said. “And we’re going to expose poor privacy practices via a privacy grade so you can really see how trustworthy a site is.”
Wikipedia.org, for example, gets a B: it offers an encrypted connection and uses no tracker networks, but has “unknown privacy practices.”
“We’re hoping that by exposing everything, over time, sites will try to get a better grade,” said Weinberg.
DuckDuckGo offers the same features on desktops and laptops in a browser extension for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.