DuckDuckGo Switches to Apple Maps as its Default for Private Searches

by: - Last updated on: January 16th, 2019

DuckDuckGo, the search engine that primarily focuses on user privacy while delivering results for their search queries, is now partnering with Apple Maps to protect user privacy for location-based services. The partnering between both the companies seems pretty obvious, as both the companies have a huge emphasis on user privacy. With the new agreement coming in, users of the search engine can not get access to updated maps, enhanced satellite imagery, improved search results, etc. in addition to a private location-based search.

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IMAGE: DuckDuckGo

To use Apple Maps as its default, DuckDuckGo is utilising the MapKit JS library, announced last year at the WWDC. MapKit JS is a JavaScript library that can be used by anyone to put Apple Maps on the web. As of now, it is available in beta, so only the registered Apple developers can use it to integrate maps on the web. Until now, DuckDuckGo used OpenStreetMap for results, with a drop-down box that used other map services like Bing, Google, Here maps etc. to showcase the results for users’ queries.

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IMAGE: DuckDuckGo

It seems natural for a company like DuckDuckGo to partner with Apple, considering how much Apple cares about user privacy. Unlike companies like Google or Bing, which collect user data for profiling, Apple refrains itself from doing so and instead focuses on increasing user privacy on the internet. DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, has been doing a similar thing for a long time, providing search results to users’ queries without collecting any information on them. It is this pro-privacy behaviour of both the companies that puts them on the same page and allows for a better partnering than some of the other major players in the industry.

Here’s a statement from the company on the integration of Apple Maps with its DuckDuckGo search engine-

At DuckDuckGo, we believe getting the privacy you deserve online should be as simple as closing the blinds. Naturally, our strict privacy policy of not collecting or sharing any personal information extends to this integration. We do not send any personally identifiable information such as IP address to Apple or other third parties. For local searches, where your approximate location information is sent by your browser to us, we discard it immediately after use.

Read the full announcement here.

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