DuckDuckGo has announced a new email service: Email Protection. This protects users by removing invisible trackers from newsletters and other mailings. He then forwards the corresponding email to users’ daily email addresses.
DuckDuckGo has come up with a new way to ensure the online privacy of internet users. When they sign up for a newsletter, it is often provided with invisible trackers. Research has shown that as much as 70 per cent of commercial emails are equipped with hidden trackers. These provide valuable insights and information to advertisers. This allows them to see when someone opens a newsletter, how long they read it, which links they click, which apps you have installed on your smartphone, what your surfing history is, and so on.
All this information is tracked and stored in a data profile. The more data such a data profile contains, the more valuable it is. This offers opportunities to offer personal and person-oriented advertisements. Such advertisements are not only more effective but usually also yield a lot more.
Newsletters may offer users convenience or nice discounts, but they come with a price: you are giving up a piece of your online privacy. DuckDuckGo, the privacy-oriented search engine, puts a stop to that with Email Protection.
Email Protection is an email service, but it doesn’t work like you’re used to from providers like Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo. That’s right. Users create an @duck.com email address. If a site asks for your email address, for example for a newsletter or other commercial mailing, they provide their @duck.com email address. The mailings for which users have registered will then end up here. DuckDuckGo then removes all invisible trackers that have been processed in the mailing. Finally, DuckDuckGo forwards the email in question to users’ email service (their Gmail or Outlook address). They receive the original email, but without elements that map their online behaviour.
If you are afraid that a website uses email addresses for spamming or sells it to third parties, you can create a Private Duck Address. That’s an @duck.com email address, but with a random name. This offers one major advantage: better protection of your identity. “Since it is common for sites to upload your email address to Google and Facebook for targeted advertising, or for your email address to be leaked in a data breach, this extra level of identity protection is now unfortunately necessary,” DuckDuckGo writes. Users can deactivate a Private Duck Address at any time, should an address be misused for spamming too often.
DuckDuckGo promises not to save emails or headers. Images in newsletters will remain available. By the time internet users see these, they have been stripped of hidden trackers. In the mail, users can see which trackers DuckDuckGo has removed.
Email Protection is currently in beta. To register for this, you must register on a waiting list. DuckDuckGo says it’s admitting new users every day, which means it’s only a matter of time before it’s your turn. To sign up, open the DuckDuckGo app and go to Settings > Email Protection. Then all you have to do is tap the blue coloured button with the text ‘Join the Private Waitlist’ and you’re done.
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