DuckDuckGo Calls Out Google Search for 'Spying' on Users After Privacy Labels Go Live

Over the course of the last several weeks, Google has been adding App Privacy labels to its iOS apps in accordance with Apple's App Store rules, but it took Google multiple months to begin sharing the information.

DuckDuckGo vs Chrome Feature
There was speculation that Google's delay meant that it had something to hide, which DuckDuckGo is leaning into with a new tweet that highlights Google's data collection and calls out the company for "spying" on users.


Google recently added App Privacy labels to its Google Search app, spelling out the extent of information that's collected. For third-party advertising purposes, Google collects data that includes location, search history, and browsing history. Google's own marketing data includes all of the above information along with contact info and device identifiers, plus there's even more data collected for analytics, app functionality, and product personalization.

DuckDuckGo claims that Google "wanted to hide" the information that it collects, which is why Google took so long to roll out support for App Privacy labels. Most people are likely not surprised at the extent of the data that Google collects, but having it in one spot in the ‌App Store‌ is a stark reminder.

Many of Google's major apps did not start getting privacy labels until late in February, even though Apple's rule went into effect in December. Google delayed adding the labels for so long that its apps went more than two months without being updated. Even now, it's been three months since the Google Maps app has been updated, though most other apps have now received App Privacy labels and updates.


DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search and browser option that's available on iOS devices and that can be set as the default search engine option. As DuckDuckGo points out in its tweet, the DuckDuckGo app does not collect data that's linked to you.

Top Rated Comments

Mansu944 Avatar
11 months ago
LOL, this is great...good for you Duck Duck Go.
Score: 65 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
11 months ago

Might seem 'scary' on the face of it but Google annoymizes all data. https://policies.google.com/technologies/anonymization?hl=en-US

Personally after the Snowden revelations, I think DDG position quite pointless. Google uses the data to sell ads, and the Goverment already has all your data.

So I might aswell use the best service around, because what exact benefit does DDG give for its 'privacy' claims if Google does not keep personally identifiable information anyways? (and note that it would not make sense for Google to lie and risk lawsuits, when they only care about selling ads anyways)
They literally have a whole page of “data linked to you,” including addresses. It’s in the screenshot in the original post. What does “anonymization” mean if they can link all that to you?
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
11 months ago
Wow that's scary how much they collect
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Magnusson Avatar
11 months ago
But Google needs all this, for reasons.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThunderSkunk Avatar
11 months ago
DuckDuck is the bees knees.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bsamcash Avatar
11 months ago
This actually might finally convince me to switch to DuckDuckGo.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

app store privacy labels iphone 12

More Than a Dozen Apps With 'Misleading or Flat-Out Inaccurate' Privacy Labels Found on App Store

Friday January 29, 2021 8:21 am PST by
Last month, Apple introduced privacy labels on the App Store, providing users with a broad overview of the data types an app may collect, and whether the information is used to track them or is linked to their identity or device. Apple has required developers to provide this privacy information when submitting new apps and app updates to the App Store since early December, but the labels...
Google Apps Privacy Feature 1

All of Google's Main Apps Now Feature Privacy Labels

Tuesday April 6, 2021 10:45 am PDT by
Four months after Apple first began requiring apps to add App Privacy labels to their App Store listings, Google has finally updated all of its most popular apps with the information, letting people know exactly what data Google is collecting. Google began adding App Privacy labels to its apps in February after months of delaying. Gmail, for example, got App Privacy labels on February 22,...
gmail updated

Gmail for iOS Updated for the First Time in Three Months

Monday March 1, 2021 10:29 am PST by
After neglecting the app for several months, Google today finally updated Gmail on the App Store for the first time in exactly three months. Today's update, version 6.0.210124, says it includes "Bug fixes and performance improvements," but it is a notable update given it's the first one the app has seen in months. Alongside Gmail, Google Meet, Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Calander,...
Google Chrome Material Icon 450x450

Judge Rules Google Must Face Lawsuit Alleging Chrome Tracks Users in Incognito Mode

Sunday March 14, 2021 6:19 am PDT by
A judge in California has ruled that Google must face a class action lawsuit alleging that it secretly tracks the online activity of Chrome users even when they're using the browser in its privacy-oriented Incognito mode (via Bloomberg). The lawsuit was filed in June by three plaintiffs alleging that Google hoovers up user data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications ...
Android 12 vs iOS 14 Feature

Google Previews Android 12 With Deeper Customization and iOS 14-Inspired Privacy Protections

Tuesday May 18, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
During its Google I/O developers conference today, Google previewed Android 12, the next version of Android that will ship to millions of Android devices around the world later this year. Google is mainly targeting customization as the theme for this year's new release and a new design language that it's calling "Material You." Google says this new design language brings a "humanistic...
appstoreprivacy feature

Google Planning to Update iOS Apps With Privacy Labels Soon

Tuesday January 5, 2021 4:29 pm PST by
Earlier today, Fast Company shared an article noting that Google has yet to update its iPhone and iPad apps to bring them in line with Apple's new App Store privacy labels requirement. Fast Company speculated that Google might be trying to delay revealing its privacy label data, but it turns out that's not the case. According to a report from TechCrunch, Google is not taking a stand against...
appstoreprivacy feature

There's Still No Sign of Privacy Labels for Most Google iOS Apps

Wednesday January 20, 2021 12:46 pm PST by
As of December 8, Apple has been requiring developers submitting new apps and app updates to provide privacy label information that outlines the data that each app collects from users when it is installed. Many app developers, such as Facebook, have complied and now include the privacy labels alongside their apps, but there's one notable outlier -- Google. Google has not updated its major ...
apple privacy labels website

Apple Launches All-in-One Web Page With Privacy Labels for Its Own Apps

Thursday March 11, 2021 10:00 am PST by
Apple today updated its privacy website with a new "Labels" section that brings privacy labels for all of Apple's apps together in one place, making it easier for users to learn about how Apple apps handle their personal data. Apple already provided privacy labels for its apps since the feature launched last year, but on individual support pages, so this new "Labels" section makes it easier...

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
General Dropbox Feature

macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive

Tuesday January 25, 2022 3:31 pm PST by
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
Apple Watch Red Yellow Green Feature 1

Apple Launches Black Unity Braided Solo Loop With 'Unity Lights' Watch Face

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:05 am PST by
Apple today announced the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for the Apple Watch, as well as a new downloadable watch face, to celebrate Black History Month. Following the launch of the limited edition Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 and Sport Band in 2021, Apple today launched the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop as part of its celebrations for Black History Month this year.Apple is launching a...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
intel vs m1 max chip purple

Benchmarks Confirm Intel's Latest Core i9 Chip Outperforms Apple's M1 Max With Several Caveats

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Benchmark results have started to surface for MSI's new GE76 Raider, one of the first laptops to be powered by Intel's new 12th-generation Core i9 processor. Intel previously said that its new high-end Core i9 processor is faster than Apple's M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, as noted by Macworld, early Geekbench 5 results do appear to confirm this claim, but there are several...
ios 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 With Fix for Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3, the third major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3 come almost two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.2.1, minor bug fix updates. The iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in ...