It is no secret that some of the most popular web browsers, like Google’s Chrome, thrive on getting as much data as they can about the activities of their users and using that to tailor the kind of services that users are able to access all across the world wide web. That has not come without its own fair share of concerns more so with regards to user privacy. How much of your data does Google and others collect every time you’re browsing using their browser apps? How much of it do they sell to their advertising partners? How is the user protected?
It is such concerns that have led to an emerging class of mobile web browsers that assure users of “complete” privacy when they are browsing on their mobile devices. Mozilla’s Firefox Focus, which was released last year, was one of the high profile attempts to do so. There have been attempts to do so before, as well. That is why we have the AdBlock browser. And now there’s an updated DuckDuckGo browser on Android that sets out to do more along those lines.
What sets DuckDuckGo browser apart from the rest is because it builds on a reputable foundation of a user-privacy-centred experience since the DuckDuckGo brand is widely known for the search engine, which goes by the same name. The DuckDuckGo search engine has for long been the ultimate go-to anti-Google search engine, promising to not follow users everywhere they go on the web while still delivering what they are looking for.
How it works
As you would expect, the DuckDuckGo browser app has the DuckDuckGo search engine as the default search engine. However, where it excels is in stopping trackers from websites that one visits, like AndroidKenya.com, for instance, and then telling the user exactly what it is doing when they click the privacy grade icon. The privacy grade is a measure of how serious a website is with your privacy. Since almost all the sites do some kind of tracking, the highest most will rank is grade B.
Clicking the fire icon results on all browsing data being expunged, kind of like how the incognito mode on Chrome operates and, basically, how Firefox Focus works.
With the number of search queries handled by DuckDuckGo in 2017 accounting for 36% of all the searches made on its platform since its inception a decade ago [source], the play in mobile is likely to mean a big boom for the privacy-focused search engine and browser.
It remains to be seen whether the likes of DuckDuckGo and Firefox Focus will have any impact of Chrome’s big numbers but at least for those who don’t want the big guys tracking them online, there’s some choice. Even though Android, by itself, solely exists to feed the big guys with as much data on our habits as possible. It’s a tough war to win.
Download DuckDuckGo on the Play Store