DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials



  • I'm interested to hear what other people think about DDG's new/update extension. As someone who already uses---and mostly trusts---DDG for search, the extension they're offering seems like it could be promising replacement for HTTPS everywhere and Privacy Badger for me (I'm always trying, but usually failing, to cut down on the number of extensions I have installed). The main features include:

    • Escape Advertising Tracker Networks — Our Privacy Protection will block all the hidden trackers we can find, exposing the major advertising networks tracking you over time, so that you can track who's trying to track you.
    • Increase Encryption Protection — We force sites to use an encrypted connection where available, protecting your data from prying eyes, like ISPs.
    • Search Privately — You share your most personal information with your search engine, like your financial, medical, and political questions. What you search for is your own business, which is why DuckDuckGo search doesn't track you. Ever.
    • Decode Privacy Policies — We’ve partnered with Terms of Service Didn't Read to include their scores and labels of website terms of service and privacy policies, where available.
    Our extension also adds a toolbar icon that shows you a Privacy Grade rating when you visit a website (A-F). This rating lets you see how protected you are at a glance, dig into the details to see who we caught trying to track you, and learn how we enhanced the underlying site's privacy measures. The Privacy Grade is scored automatically based on the prevalence of hidden tracker networks, encryption availability, and website privacy practices.

    More info here and here.



  • The extension is great and works very well, but as a search engine I prefer Startpage



  • @purgatori not used it long, found it on twitter earlier today, guess @vivaldi did too, they just been upgraded from a C to a B :P



  • @huntardy said in DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials:

    @purgatori not used it long, found it on twitter earlier today, guess @vivaldi did too, they just been upgraded from a C to a B :P

    I've noticed the gradings fluctuate a bit, and sometimes the correct domain isn't even pulled in or updated. Still some kinks to work out, I guess.



  • Who publishes this extension?
    I just got a dialog for it on Chrome. I've never installed it so a dialog stating "DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials is disabled" was a surprise.
    What is disturbing is security software that needs this:
    "To re-enable it, accept the new permissions:"
    "Read and change all your data on the websites you visit"

    While the response "this tool is exactly for that"can be made to my observation of 'occasionally a poorly built https served site will cache credit card dates and CVV.' -Until I know who I am allowing full access to the browser cache DB, no thank you!



  • @rreed said in DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials:

    Who publishes this extension?
    I just got a dialog for it on Chrome. I've never installed it so a dialog stating "DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials is disabled" was a surprise.
    What is disturbing is security software that needs this:
    "To re-enable it, accept the new permissions:"
    "Read and change all your data on the websites you visit"

    While the response "this tool is exactly for that"can be made to my observation of 'occasionally a poorly built https served site will cache credit card dates and CVV.' -Until I know who I am allowing full access to the browser cache DB, no thank you!

    Perhaps you installed the old DuckDuckGo search extension? Said extension automatically updated to 'Privacy Extensions' (they're both published by DuckDuckGo). And yeah, obviously if you don't feel comfortable about granting the new security permissions that the extension now requires in order to function, then don't.



  • @rreed If the extension is installed in your Vivaldi, you have installed it yourself. Vivaldi doesn't preinstall any extensions.

    And about the permissions. An extension disables itself automatically, if new permissions are introduced with an update. To reenable it you have to accept all permissions again. That it needs to "read and change your data on the websites you visit" is completely normal, since it needs to work on all sites you visit. Every extension that needs to work on all sites has this permission. This doesn't mean the extension actually reads data you input on a site, it only means it can be active on all sites to do its intended job. Check the permissions of your other extensions.



  • @purgatori said in DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials:

    I'm interested to hear what other people think about DDG's new/update extension. As someone who already uses---and mostly trusts---DDG for search, the extension they're offering seems like it could be promising replacement for HTTPS everywhere and Privacy Badger for me (I'm always trying, but usually failing, to cut down on the number of extensions I have installed).

    I just installed this DuckDuckGo App yesterday on Data Privacy Day !
    its actually a good thing to see how many "trackers" are on web sites even the good ones ! Most seem to be google related trackers. I like the grading system too.
    It'll probably get even better over time, only 2 days using it here. HTH



  • Why not run extensions that take care of those things locally, i.e on your machine?

    • uBlock Origin
    • uBlock Origin Extra
    • uMatrix
      (- Disconnect, HTTPS Everywhere, Decentraleyes....)


  • @rogerwilco said in DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials:

    Why not run extensions that take care of those things locally, i.e on your machine?

    • uBlock Origin
    • uBlock Origin Extra
    • uMatrix
      (- Disconnect, HTTPS Everywhere, Decentraleyes....)

    What things?



  • @purgatori said in DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials:

    @rogerwilco said in DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials:

    Why not run extensions that take care of those things locally, i.e on your machine?

    • uBlock Origin
    • uBlock Origin Extra
    • uMatrix
      (- Disconnect, HTTPS Everywhere, Decentraleyes....)

    What things?

    Well, I'll only cover it briefly as more in-depth information about each of the extensions can be found on their respective extension page in the store. Alternatively one can <search machine> those.

    So, what I meant is, to locally control 1st/3rd party scripts at a very granular level, block web fonts and other website elements that can (and are) used as trackers, next to cookies themselves. On top ensuring a little bit more security enforcing HTTPS where possible, re-use CDN components that we downloaded before.



  • @rogerwilco The question is why use duckduckgo privacy essentials, when there are dedicated extensions out there which tackle the same issue but much more thoroughly?



  • @luetage said in DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials:

    @rogerwilco The question is why use duckduckgo privacy essentials, when there are dedicated extensions out there which tackle the same issue but much more thoroughly?

    Ah, thanks for adding that clarification.

    No doubt these other solutions are more thorough, offer greater control, customisation, and so on, but I think I was fairly explicit in my original post about the appeal of the DuckDuckGo extension being (for me) that it combined a number of these features into a single extension, since I'm one of those people who likes to keep the number of installed extensions to a minimum---heck, I prefer these features to be baked into the browser itself, all other things being equal.

    I'm still not sure I get how 'local' is being used here, though, since the DuckDuckGo extension is also 'local' in the sense you have defined, RogerWilco, is it not?



  • @purgatori I just installed duckduckgo to see what it really does. Turns out it tries to prevent tracking. You can whitelist sites (basically turn it on/off automatically) and that's it. This is not an all around package that gives you control, you are completely dependent on duckduckgo to make the decision for you, what is and what isn't needed.

    I see no reason to use this over extensions like ublock origin, which allow you to add/remove/create your own filterlists and granularly control blocking of tracking/ads/malicious websites. While ublock is really an extension that can do it all, duckduckgo does only one thing. If you want to cut down on extensions, ddg is not the way to go. Although one thing is clear, for the average user it might be ok, since you don't have to invest time in learning about controlling the outcome/setting everything up, keeping your custom stuff up to date, etc. You basically install and forget.



  • @luetage said in DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials:

    Although one thing is clear, for the average user it might be ok, since you don't have to invest time in learning about controlling the outcome/setting everything up, keeping your custom stuff up to date, etc. You basically install and forget.

    That says it all, keeps it simple, but at least it helps rather than not using anything.



  • @luetage said in DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials:

    @purgatori I just installed duckduckgo to see what it really does. Turns out it tries to prevent tracking. You can whitelist sites (basically turn it on/off automatically) and that's it. This is not an all around package that gives you control, you are completely dependent on duckduckgo to make the decision for you, what is and what isn't needed.

    I see no reason to use this over extensions like ublock origin, which allow you to add/remove/create your own filterlists and granularly control blocking of tracking/ads/malicious websites. While ublock is really an extension that can do it all, duckduckgo does only one thing. If you want to cut down on extensions, ddg is not the way to go. Although one thing is clear, for the average user it might be ok, since you don't have to invest time in learning about controlling the outcome/setting everything up, keeping your custom stuff up to date, etc. You basically install and forget.

    Nowadays I use Safari and am glad that I don't even have to install anything for tracking protection, because it's baked right into the browser; so that probably gives a pretty good indication of how much I care about having 'granular control.' Granular control might be great for some, but for me it's just a hassle I don't want to have to deal with when I'm using the web for either work or entertainment. I expect my browser to provide some measure of protection against threats to the security of my system and the privacy of my information without breaking sites along the way. Fiddling around with a whole bunch of settings/permissions for every site/domain I visit gets old fast, and I don't see it as a good expenditure of my time or mental energy.


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