Android users get their own version of Apple’s application tracking protection

When Apple introduced a new application tracking transparency tool in late April it shook the advertising industry to its foundations. Thanks to this, iPhone and iPad owners can now prevent apps from tracking their behavior and using their data for personalized advertising. Since new privacy controls were launched, companies that monetize user data such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have lost nearly $ 10 billion. However, most smartphone users around the world use Android, which has not offered anything like this so far.

However, a similar tool is now available for Google’s Android operating system, but Google itself is not behind it. Behind the new tool is technology company DuckDuckGo, known for its browser that protects users’ privacy. The tool can prevent apps from tracking Android users. The feature, called “Android Application Tracking Protection”, has appeared in beta and is similar to Apple’s iOS controls.

“You should see a lot less creepy ads following you online,” says Peter Dolanjski, product director at DuckDuckGo.

The vast majority of applications have so-called “third-party trackers” hidden in their code. They track your behavior in a variety of applications and help create your highly detailed digital profiles that can include information about what you buy, demographics, and other information that can be used to display personalized ads.

DuckDuckGo says that their analysis of popular free Android applications shows that more than 96% of them have hidden trackers from other companies. Of these, 87% send data to Google and 68% to Facebook. Blocking them means that Facebook and Google, whose trackers are among the most prominent, cannot use the information they collect for advertising purposes.

The DuckDuckGo tool is not part of the update for all Android phones, nor is it available as a separate download, but is built into the DuckDuckGo browser app that you should have on your device. U presentation a new tool on the blog, the company says the tool will block “trackers it identifies in other third-party applications.”

“You’ve probably heard of companies following you behind the scenes in smartphone apps they don’t own (like Google hiding in the Nike app). These hidden trackers for tracking apps are creepy because they can track everything you do in the app and can also continue to track you even when you’re not using the app. Many of these trackers are designed to record your activity in real time: where you are, what you do, where you have been, and even how many hours you sleep at night, ”says DuckDuckGo.

All this data is sent to dozens of companies. With your digital profile, what you see on the Internet can be manipulated, ads can be displayed based on your behavior, and your data can be sold to various companies, data brokers, advertisers and governments.

How does the new Android application tracking protection work? Once enabled, the DuckDuckGo app will detect when your Android apps are about to send data to other companies and block it.

“You can enjoy your apps as usual, and app tracking protection will run in the background and continue to block detected trackers in your apps, even while you sleep. We are constantly working on identifying and protecting against new trackers, so you can rest easy knowing that you get the latest protection, ”says DuckDuckGo.

The company also explained that its application tracking protection is not a virtual private network (VPN), although your device will recognize it as a VPN. This is because application protection protection uses a local “VPN connection”, but differs from a VPN in that it never routes application data via an external server.

Directly from the DuckDuckGo application, you can see a display of the tracker blocking in real time, as well as to whom they tried to send the data. You can also receive automatic notifications, provided they are turned on.

To access the beta version of App Tracking Protection, you must join a private waiting list. You can do this from the DuckDuckGo app settings for Android.

You can find more details about this on the DuckDuckGo blog.

Source: by

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