DuckDuckGo, for those not familiar with it, is a privacy-first internet search engine that does not profile its users. DuckDuckGo also blocks the trackers that are used by other search engines to track you over the apps and internet sites you visit in order to serve you targeted ads. A 2017 report concluded that Google had placed trackers on 75% of the top 1 million internet websites with Facebook next at 25% and Twitter third at 12%.
Apple iPhone users concerned about privacy might want to consider uninstalling Gmail and using Apple’s default mail app instead
If privacy is more important to you than having ads for something that you’re looking for show up on your phone, you might consider deleting Gmail on your iPhone and use Apple’s home-grown mail app on its handset. That’s because Gmail, like many of Google’s apps, is a data vacuum sucking up the details of your personal online life to sell to third-party firms.
Comparing the App Privacy Labels between the Apple Mail app and Gmail, one can easily see how much of a difference there is between the two in terms of privacy. Apple’s default mail app collects some contact information and identifiers and can link them to your identity. Meanwhile, Gmail keeps track of your purchases, contact information, user content, identifiers, diagnostics, location, contacts, search history, usage data, and other data to find out who you are so that they can track you and send you targeted ads.
Apple will add Mail Privacy Protection with the iOS 15 update
Considering that it doesn’t take that much information for companies like Google and Facebook to figure out who you are, iOS users might want to go ahead and follow-through on our previously mentioned recommendation to uninstall Gmail and stick to using the default iOS mail app. Of course, you’ll lose that link between Google apps that the Alphabet subsidiary is known for, but this will result in a huge leap in keeping your personal data private.
Proton founder Andy Yen said, “Tracking pixels are a concerningly normal part of today’s internet and yet another example of how people’s privacy is being intruded upon on a day-to-day basis. The volume of information a company can gather with something as simple as an invisible image is incredible.” Preventing remote images from loading automatically is one way to stop pixels from tracking you.
In iOS 15, remote images will use multiple proxy servers that will allow images to appear on all of your emails without the risk of having them track you. That’s because the images will be coming from Apple’s own servers.