DuckDuckGo declares war on web trackers

Internet users should be wary of advertising trackers on the sites they consult

American search engine DuckDuckGo, which emphasizes protecting searchers' privacy, has presented a new tool, Tracker Radar, which is an automatically updated dataset that lists all of the advertising trackers on the web.

Tracker Radar provides a real-time list of the most widespread online trackers, which is automatically generated and maintained through continuous crawling and analysis of the web's most popular sites. Not surprisingly, the first statistics to be produced by Tracker Radar show that the largest publisher of trackers is, as you might have guessed, Google, which is followed by Facebook, Adobe and Amazon. The list created by the tool is not intended to be exhaustive and it will evolve over time, but DuckDuckGo claims that it can identify the overwhelming majority of files designed to analyze the behavior of internet users for sales and marketing purposes.

The code for the tool is open source and the data set is free and publicly available, which means that anyone publishing on the web can block trackers from their pages. In addition to DuckDuckGo's mobile applications, the new tool will also be integrated into the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extension, which is available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

These days, the publishers of most web browsers have added functionalities to ensure personal data protection. A case in point is Google, which has developed several security and privacy features for its Chrome browser. For its part, Firefox is also integrating new features that block cookies and scripts designed to track the online activities of its users.