When you visit a website that contains embedded content from social media companies (such as videos, posts, comments, or login buttons), that content often includes a tracking code that those companies use to link your user information (e.g., your IP address and browser details) with your browsing history.
In some cases, like with Facebook, this can happen regardless of whether you have an account or not. They can detect and store your browsing activity and use it to target content and ads to you, despite whether the page you’re on is related to that service. Sometimes this might be what you want, such as when you’re playing a social game with your Facebook account. Most times, though, you likely prefer to keep your browsing activity private.
When you use our app or browser extension, DuckDuckGo’s Privacy Protection blocks social media embedded content by default. We’re starting small (including Facebook, for example), but over time we’ll be adding more social media companies to the list. If you decide to unblock the content, this will load the content’s tracking code. While social media companies will receive some user information each time you unblock content, this protection will help to reduce what they know about you overall.
Using the social media login feature on a site unblocks embedded content from that social media company automatically, typically until you restart your browser or log out. This means that social media companies can see your activity on sites where you’ve logged in via their login form. All other DuckDuckGo privacy protection (such as tracker blocking on websites you visit) remains active.
How to Disable This Protection
You can disable social media embedded content protection for any website by following these instructions:
- Click the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extension icon in your toolbar.
- Toggle Site Privacy Protection off. The page will be added to your list of Unprotected Sites, which you can manage anytime from Settings.
Note that disabling Privacy Protection will also disable DuckDuckGo’s tracker blocking and other privacy protections for the whole site.