DuckDuckGo offers private driving and walking directions


DuckDuckGo gets you where you’re going without tracking you.
DuckDuckGo can get you where you’re going without tracking you.
Photo: DuckDuckGo

The privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo added directions to its mapping features. Users can get step-by-step routing info without giving up their privacy.

The mapping data offered by the site comes from Apple’s MapKit JS.

To be clear, this isn’t real-time, turn-by-turn directions like those offered by Apple Maps. DuckDuckGo works out a route, but users aren‘t alerted to each turn as they approach it.

DuckDuckGo won’t track you

While there are limitations, this service offers privatacy. “Your browser sends location information which we isolate from any personal information the browser sends, and which we discard after use, enabling us to provide anonymous localized results and features,” promises DuckDuckGo in a statement.

This search engine already displays locations on a map. But a new “Directions” button suggests a route to that destination. The starting location is the user’s current position. The route and any alternatives are displayed on the map, and written directions are listed. Users can choose between driving and walking directions.

This software company and Apple have cooperated on mapping information for years. Starting back in 2019, searches done with with service could access MapKit JS, which Apple created to enable companies to add interactive maps to webpages.

Mapping is just one of the services offered by DuckDuckGo. It can be set as Safari’s default search engine. And worth iPOS 14, the browser can even replace Safari on iPhone or iPad.