DuckDuckGo is a search engine which focuses on user privacy, just announced a draft of ‘Do-Not-Track Act of 2019. Although it won’t be a formal law soon, DuckDuckGo hopes that the move will urge the site to respect the user’s “Do-Not-Track” option setting and become a reference point for domestic and foreign legislatures to pass such privacy laws.
Earlier this year, DuckDuckGo conducted a study and found that a quarter of users have turned on the “Do Not Track” setting, which is about 75 million Americans and 115 million EU citizens.
In the draft legislation, DuckDuckGo recommends that if a user has enabled the ‘no tracking’ setting, no third party should track the user’s actions on the network without their permission. In other words, no first-party should track users outside of what a user expects. For ease of understanding, DuckDuckGo gives an example: If you continue to use WhatsApp, its parent company, Facebook, should not use WhatsApp data to deliver targeted ads on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
In fact, in the early 2010s, Do Not Track has already appeared. For those who care about the privacy of web browsing, Do Not Track can help them get extra protection. Unfortunately, by default, it is just an optional option. The good news is that the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) have provided implementation references for other jurisdictions.