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DuckDuckGo channels Sting to drive home privacy point

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DuckDuckGo channels Sting to drive home privacy point by Tree Elven on 12/10/2022
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Online privacy is a quaint or unknown notion to some, a battle still being fought to others (https://www.nytimes.com/guides/privacy-project/how-to-protect-your-digital-privacy). While there is a certain amount of awareness about how big tech platforms gather and use everyone's personal data often at the expense of our privacy, it's also true that we are increasingly reliant on tech as a society - for good and for, er, not so good. Big brands tout their privacy credentials to a generalised disbelief, but there are few visible champions of privacy as a digital human right. Internet search engine DuckDuckGo, founded by Gabriel Weinberg in 2008 in Pennsylvania, USA, has always used its focus on protecting user privacy as its distinguishing feature. Because it is based on anonymity, user numbers are not known. With this ad campaign, it appears to be ramping up its bid for visibility and challenge to the household search names. As mentioned, the world is increasingly reliant on big tech platforms, and the DuckDuckGo search engine itself is powered by Microsoft’s own Bing search engine. DuckDuckGo’s agreement with Microsoft includes stipulations that DuckDuckGo not block Microsoft’s LinkedIn and Bing advertising domains (https://hothardware.com/news/duckduckgo-ceo-responds-backlash-controversial-microsoft-tracking-agreement). Earlier in 2022, Weinberg lamented the 'restriction' and insisted that his company was still striving to change it. “For non-search tracker blocking (eg in our browser), we block most third-party trackers," he tweeted. "Unfortunately our Microsoft search syndication agreement prevents us from doing more to Microsoft-owned properties. However, we have been continually pushing and expect to be doing more soon.” What do you think of the 'Watching You' ad, whose track is instantly recognisable to many of us as a classic written by British singer/songwriter Sting for his '70s/'80s band The Police?

Keywords: DuckDuckGo Watching You, online privacy, anonymity in search engines, digital data protection, anonymous search, ad blocking, Mirimar Agency

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