It has become a part-time job to navigate and, if necessary, block the ads and other annoyances that plague virtually every website today. DuckDuckGo hopes to make this easier and easier with its own list of key offenders, which is kept up to date by its own crawlers. Of course it's free.
In a blog post announcing the new service called Tracker Radar, DuckDuckGo states that ad and tracker blockers are important software, but are not being developed efficiently or sustainably.
For example, one of the most popular lists used by blocking software, EasyList, contains almost 100,000 rules – URLs or strings that the blocker needs to look out for. This is a great resource, but also bloated due to the fact that it has been manually curated for several years: Thousands of these rules may no longer be accurate or relevant, and most will not come into play on average. The user's browser session hits on some of the 100 best websites.
DuckDuckGo's approach is to start with a clean plan and use web crawlers – online virtual agents to visit and catalog selected aspects of websites – to create an ongoing database of rules that adhere to the latest data from trackers and website Administrators.
This database can be both extensive and flexible, as it compares the patterns of around 50,000 websites to find rules and assignments. Tracking is sophisticated and there are methods to use multiple websites and services to identify a user who has disabled cookies and other conventional signals. By regularly comparing the behavior of many websites and profiling the techniques used, the resulting data is rich and up-to-date.
At least that's the pitch. DuckDuckGo has its own suite of data protection-oriented plug-ins and apps that users should use, and the data from the Tracker Radar are of course integrated into this. But it is also provided free of charge – not only the data, but also the code for collecting and compiling – for anyone who wants to use or improve it themselves.
If you are currently using a popular blocker like uBlock Origin or something similar, you will likely benefit from this new database without having to do anything. On the other hand, if you like the idea of a reduced tracking solution and would like to give DuckDuckGo & # 39; s a chance, look for the plugins / extensions / add-ons for your favorite browser (provided it is either Chrome, Firefox or Safari) . or simply the DuckDuckGo browser on your mobile phone.