DuckDuckGo gives Apple Maps a tiny victory over Google

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DuckDuckGo searches can now include Apple Maps data without violating your privacy.
DuckDuckGo searches can now include Apple Maps data without violating your privacy.
Photo: DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo teamed up with Apple to  protect user privacy for map and address-related searches. Their agreement gives users of the search engine access to continually updated maps, enhanced satellite imagery and more without exposing their data.

The pairing seems natural as both Apple and DuckDuckGo have taken strong stances on protecting user privacy.

DuckDuckGo promises that its collaboration with Apple won’t expose users to the prying eyes of advertisers. “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,” the company said in an official blog post.

Apple is pro-privacy

Unlike companies like Google and Facebook, Apple doesn’t make a business out of collecting and selling information about its users. Apple’s VP of software technology, Bud Tribble, told the U.S. Senate’s Commerce Committee in September, “We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right, which should be supported by both social norms and the law.”

It wouldn’t be possible for DuckDuckGo to team with Google Maps for locations searches as Google would insist on collecting information on all users. But that’s not true for Apple.  “You are still anonymous when you perform map and address-related searches on DuckDuckGo,” the search engine promised.

This new feature is powered by Apple MapKit JS framework, which was created to enable companies to add interactive maps to webpages. DuckDuckGo is one of the first global companies to employ this offering that Apple launched last summer.