DuckDuckGo, best known for its privacy-focused search engine, has announced a new service aimed at preventing email tracking. Email protection is now available in beta. It is a free forwarding service that removes tracking pixels from your emails for the purpose of shielding your personal data.
About 70 percent of emails contain trackers, DuckDuckGo notes. These can be used to tell the sender when you opened an email, the device you access it with, and even where you are when you read it. The company notes that trackers can also be used for ad targeting.
To use the email protection service, sign up for a nice, free @ duck.com email address. DuckDuckGo will extract trackers from emails sent to that address and forward the messages to your regular inbox. The company says its systems will never store emails ̵
You can also generate randomized addresses to prevent companies from tracking you via email. This part of the service is similar to Apple’s Hide Email option. DuckDuckGo’s approach works across platforms through app and browser extension.
If you think a website or app might trick you with spam or share your email address elsewhere, you can create a one-time address. This can be useful, for example, when you sign up for a free trial. It will also provide a level of protection if that email address is leaking in a data breach. No one knows what email address you use for other services. DuckDuckGo says that disabling a private duck address will be a movie if you want to stop receiving emails through it.
DuckDuckGo has opened a waiting list for the beta version of Email Protection, and you do not have to provide any personal information to sign up. You will claim your location in line with a timestamp stored on your device, and you will receive an alert when you can capture the email address @ duck.com. To sign up, open the DuckDuckGo iOS or Android app, then go to Settings, Beta Features and Email Protection, then tap Join in private waiting list.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial staff, regardless of the parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we can earn an affiliate commission.