, which is best known for its privacy-focused search engine, has a new service that aims to exploit email. Email Protection is available in beta. It is a free shipping service that removes the tracking pixels of your emails for the purpose of protecting your personal data.
About 70 percent of emails contain trackers, DuckDuckGo notes. These can be used to tell the sender when you open an email, the device you are accessing with and also where you are when you read it. The company notes that trackers can also be used for advertising targeting.
To use the Email Protection service, you must register for a smart email address @ duck.com. DuckDuckGo will extract any trackers from emails sent to this address and forward the messages to your regular mailbox. The company says its systems will never save emails – neither the email address of the sender or the recipient. When you receive the email, you will see what trackers, if any, DuckDuckGo has launched.
You can also generate random addresses to prevent companies from following you by email. This part of the service is similar to Apple’s option to or create a Gmail alias with. DuckDuckGo’s approach works on all platforms even if its app and browser extension.
If you think a site or app might be breaking down or sharing your email address elsewhere, you can create an available address. This can be useful when you sign up for a free trial, for example. It will also provide a level of protection if that email address is filtered in a data breach. No one would know which email address you use for other services. DuckDuckGo says it will be a bit like disabling a Private Duck Address if you want to stop receiving any email through it.
DuckDuckGo has opened a waiting list for the Email Protection beta and you will not need to provide any personal information to sign up. You will claim your post online with a timestamp saved on your device, and you will receive a notification when you can enter your email address @ duck.com. To sign up, open the iOS or Android DuckDuckGo app, then go to Settings, Beta Features and Email Protection, then tap the Join the Private Waitlist option.
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