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DuckDuckGo switches to Apple Maps, because privacy

MapKitJS, Apple's JavaScript-based, embeddable mapping framework for the web, was one of my favorite bits of news from WWDC that didn't make the keynote. With it, companies could provide elegant, robust online maps without forcing users to hand over location data to Google or anyone else.

DuckDuckGo obviously feels likewise:

We're excited to announce that map and address-related searches on DuckDuckGo for mobile and desktop are now powered by Apple's MapKit JS framework, giving you a valuable combination of mapping and privacy. As one of the first global companies using Apple MapKit JS, we can now offer users improved address searches, additional visual features, enhanced satellite imagery, and continually updated maps already in use on billions of Apple devices worldwide.

I'm sure all the very clever people on the team are thrilled to see the project not only get such a big implementation but such an important one, because DuckDuckGo is also the duck-duck-go-to for everyone on the web who really cares about keeping their search data private.

At DuckDuckGo, we believe getting the privacy you deserve online should be as simple as closing the blinds. Naturally, 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. You are still anonymous when you perform map and address-related searches on DuckDuckGo.

Congrats to everyone involved. More like this, please.

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Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

5 Comments
  • Well good for them, but let's keep things in perspective... "because DuckDuckGo is also the duck-duck-go-to for everyone on the web who really cares about keeping their search data private." DuckDuckGo record single day of searches in 2018 30 Million. Google daily average in 2018 3.5 Billion. I don't think the delta there reflects that phrasing.
  • It reflects the phrasing perfectly; most people don't care about privacy to that extent. Do a test; ask your friends (who most likely use Google) whether they are worried about their privacy when they do searches with Google. Bet you most of them won't have even considered it, the ones that will are probably in the IT business.
  • DuckDuckGo is quite aesthetically pleasing, the page looks a lot cleaner and tidier than Google in my opinion, plus it has a dark mode which fits in well with macOS Mojave. Apple Maps suits them from an point of aesthetics as well.
  • Not only it's light mode interface is basically a copy of Google, It's daily search data statistics shows what an insignificant development this is. Keep trying tho, fanboys.
  • I don't use DuckDuckGo because it doesn't deliver good enough search results, I still use Google. I'd like to use it, but I tried for a while and it got really annoying searching for certain things which just wouldn't appear, but would come up straight away on Google