Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo is launching ‘App Tracking Protection for Android’ into beta, a new feature that will block third-party trackers like Google and Facebook lurking in other apps.

“Many of these trackers are designed to record your activity in real-time: where you are, what you are doing, where you have been, and even how many hours you sleep at night,” the search engine said in a blog post.

Over 96 percent of the popular free Android apps DuckDuckGo tested contained hidden third-party trackers. Of those, 87 percent sent data to Google and 68 percent sent data to Facebook.

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“However, most smartphone users worldwide use Android, where no similar feature exists. In fact, advertisers are now spending more money on Android apparently because it is now easier to track you there. That is why we are excited to announce the beta of App Tracking Protection for Android,” the search engine informed.

After enabling App Tracking Protection, the DuckDuckGo app will detect when your Android apps are about to send data to third-party tracking companies found in our app tracker dataset, and block those requests.

App Tracking Protection is not a virtual private network (VPN), though your device will recognize it as one.

“However, App Tracking Protection is different from VPNs because it never routes app data through an external server,” said DuckDuckGo, which has surpassed 100 million daily search queries.

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