CLANDESTINE SEARCH ENGINE DuckDuckGo has signed a deal with Apple.
Let's review. DuckDuckGo. And. Apple. Really.
The arrangement sees Apple Maps replace the open source OpenStreetMap as the muscle behind DuckDuckGo Maps, as the company pushes for more mainstream adoption.
The search engine, which prides itself on never taking user logs making it popular with tin-foil-hat wearers everywhere, seems an unlikely bedfellow for the Cupertino giant. But Apple Maps has always been available to third-parties under the MapKit JS Framework, it's just that, after its spectacularly bad launch, this is the first time anyone significant has decided to licence them.
If you're worried that this might dilute DuckDuckGo's biggest boon, don't worry.
"We do not send any personally identifiable information such as IP address to Apple or other third parties", explains the company, calling the partnership "a new standard of trust online."
"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."
Map searches can take the form of addresses, geographical places, local businesses (both specific and type) and places nearby, giving DuckDuckGo a much wider range of map search options than it had previously.
The update also offers "improved address searches, additional visual features, enhanced satellite imagery, and continually updated maps already in use on billions of Apple devices worldwide."
We gave it a try and sure enough, it works a treat, though there's still a lot of other references to Bing (shudder) and OpenStreetMap is available as an alternative source.
Apple's privacy policies are unaffected by the partnership, unless you are actually using DuckDuckGo for your query.
The integration of Apple Maps into DuckDuckGo is already live for both desktop and mobile. You don't need to do anything, except search. μ
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