DuckDuckGo Chrome Extension calls out Google’s new Ad re-targeting features for misleading users

DuckDuckGo's recent Chrome extension has been a big thorn in advertisers’ side even since its release. DuckDuckGo offers a free chrome extension that protects the users’ privacy from outside organizations and trackers.

DuckDuckGo recently published a post criticizing Google’s upcoming Privacy Sandbox technology which claims to simultaneously protect users’ privacy and also allows advertisers to run their businesses properly. Google’s Privacy Sandbox feature is still under development but their main aims are contradicting according to many privacy advocates including DuckDuckGo. DuckDuckGo says that Google’s Sandbox feature is useless since Google is ultimately still tracking users’ IP and monitoring their online activity. They’re also using this information and sharing it with advertisers so there’s really no point to this feature.

Furthermore, DuckDuckGo also criticized Google for their FLEDGE (First Locally-Executed Decision over Groups Experiment) feature. FLEDGE is automatically implemented in Google Chrome browser for re-targeting annoying ads and is being used instead of traditional re-targeting methods. DuckDuckGo calls out the feature by saying how by using this feature, the browser actually does all the work for the advertisers. Once you visit a website, an ad tracks your search until you reach another website that displays ads. On these websites, ads

DuckDuckGo informed users they could manually disable the Privacy Sandbox feature which is part of Google Chrome browser. Continuing to say that using the DuckDuckGo plugin, users can also block Google FLEDGE and Google Topics.

Google has made statements that they’re taking privacy advocates and regulators’ opinion into account about their new Privacy Sandbox feature. However, this doesn’t prove to be authentic according to some advocates. Google’s Privacy Sandbox feature did receive the approval of UK’s competition watchdog. Alongside that, it is notable how Google is taking so long to phase out the third-party cookies on their Privacy Sandbox website. It is estimated that the third-party cookies will be removed completely in a period of three months but it is much longer than anyone expected. According to Google, the Privacy Sandbox feature will be released by the end of 2023.

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