DuckDuckGo is launching an email protection service

silversurfer

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Internet search engine DuckDuckGo plans to launch an email protection service in the near future. Designed to relay emails for its users, email protection works similarly to Mozilla's Firefox Relay service.

Basically, what it does is protect user email addresses from third parties similarly to how proxies work. Third parties, sites that users sign up for or applications, see only the service's email address and not the user's actual email address.

DuckDuckGo has designed its service with privacy in mind. The company states that it does not save user emails and that it does not save any information except for the forward email address and the service's duck email address. Additionally, it promises that information will not be used for advertising or any other purpose that is not related to the service that it offers.

DuckDuckGo reveals that it is using its own email infrastructure for the Duck Email Protection service.
duckduckgo email protection
Duck address sign-ups require an invite code at the time of writing. When you sign-up, you are asked to create a new Duck address and provide the actual email address that you want the emails to be forwarded to. From then on, you may start using the Duck email address on the Internet and in applications to protect your original email address from the services you sign up for. Trackers will be removed from emails automatically when email protection is used. The technical details of how that is done are unknown at this point.

It is unclear at this point whether users will be able to create multiple email address forwards when the service comes out of beta.
 

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DuckDuckGo announced earlier this week that the app is launching its new Email Protection feature into beta. This function will protect email privacy without switching email services.

DuckDuckGo is also giving a personal @duck.com email address for its users, which will also be able to generate unique private email addresses in the app.

We’re excited to announce the beta release of DuckDuckGo’s Email Protection. Our free email forwarding service removes email trackers and protects the privacy of your personal email address without asking you to change email services or apps. Most existing email privacy solutions come with significant tradeoffs. You either have to switch email services or apps entirely, or degrade your email experience by hiding all images. We believe protecting your personal information from leaking to third parties should be simple and seamless, like the rest of DuckDuckGo’s privacy protection bundle.

With the @duck.com email, DuckDuckGo says it removes hidden trackers from incoming messages sent to the address then forwards them to the user’s regular inbox for safer reading.

For sites that the user thinks might spam them or share their email address, a Private Duck Address can help with that.

Since it’s common for sites to upload your email address to Google and Facebook for ad targeting, or for your email to be leaked in a data breach, this extra level of identity protection is now unfortunately necessary. You can think of it as similar to not reusing the same password everywhere.

As for now, users can only join the private waitlist for this feature by opening the app, then choosing “Settings,” “Beta Features,” and “Email Protection.”
The interesting thing about the Email Protection feature from DuckDuckGo is that Apple is bringing that with iCloud+. For users who pay any of the three iCloud plans, they will be able to use Private Really, which encrypts your data while surfacing the web, Hide My Email feature that allows you to randomized, unique emails that forward to your main account, and also have unlimited HomeKit Secure Video cameras.

 
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