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DuckDuckGo launches Privacy Pro subscription at $9.99 per month

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DuckDuckGo, a well-known advocate for online privacy, has recently introduced Privacy Pro, a set of privacy-focused tools that enable users to protect their data. The suite includes a VPN, a Personal Information Removal tool and an Identity Theft Restoration service.

Privacy Pro’s subscription is available for a monthly fee of $9.99 or an annual fee of $99.99.

Browsers like DuckDuckGo are emerging as a counter to Chrome and other big tech giant-owned browsers that primarily engage in grey activities. Recently, it was reported that Chrome collected users’ data in the incognito mode and is now deleting it to settle a lawsuit.


Personal Information Removal: A tool to remove personal data from data broker websites

Source: DuckDuckGo

Central to DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Protection launch is introducing an innovative personal data removal tool and a VPN service, which expand DuckDuckGo’s offerings beyond its acclaimed search engine and browser.

The personal data removal tool is integrated into DuckDuckGo’s browser and scans a curated list of 53 data broker sites. It identifies and initiates removal requests for personal records associated with users’ submitted information, thereby helping users combat identity theft and other issues.

Furthermore, DuckDuckGo performs regular scans of the data broker websites to secure users’ information and help minimise the risk of reappearing on the platforms.

Through extensive testing, DuckDuckGo found that individuals typically have between 15 and 30 records on these data broker sites, highlighting the pervasive nature of personal data exposure online. DuckDuckGo analyses the URLs of the data broker websites to look for certain hints of personal information such as name, location or other unique identifiers.

“Each of the 53 sites we cover has a slightly different structure,” Greg Fiorentino, Product Director at DuckDuckGo, told Wired.  “We have a template URL string that we substitute the data in from the user to search. There are lots of different nuances and things that we need to be able to handle to actually match the data correctly.”

Once DuckDuckGo completes the scan, using similar deconstruction, it automatically requests data removal. Sometimes, success is achieved within a few hours, while it may take a few days to weeks on other occasions. The company is expanding the websites to scan and include other information to opt-out.


Built-in VPN service: Additional layer of privacy

Source: DuckDuckGo

The second privacy-focused improvement introduced to DuckDuckGo is a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which ensures an additional layer of protection. The browser follows a strict no-logging policy, which means that none of your online activity is stored on DuckDuckGo’s servers. With the Privacy Pro service, users can use a VPN on up to five devices simultaneously.

In the event of a VPN tunnel failure, the browser blocks all incoming traffic to prevent online activity from leaking.


Identity Theft Restoration: To restore lost identity

Source: DuckDuckGo

The Privacy Pro subscription also includes Identity Theft Restoration. With this service, DuckDuckGo will help financial institutions recover and reverse any fraudulent money transactions and will even reimburse some expenses.

Furthermore, the company will also fix your credit report, assist users in freezing their account in the event of a cyber attack, replacing important identities such as driver’s licenses, bank cards, passports and social security cards in the event of wallet theft or loss.

Last year, it was reported that DuckDuckGo is using an AI-powered tool, Duck Assist, to provide answers. Later, in June, the Windows browser of DuckDuckGo arrived with several unique features.

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Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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