What is private browsing? What does it really do?

Consumer data and tracking someone’s online activity is up for a heated debate in Congress, and at this point, it is still up to the individual to make sure they are doing what they can to protect their identity online.

While there has been incognito mode from Google for several years, entirely different internet browser companies promote their platform as a “private browser.”  These companies, like Duck Duck Go for example, utilize technologies that block data capturing tools which would typically provide valuable marketing data to companies which they can then resell for a hefty profit. In fact, Google Ads account for 70% of their overall revenue!

But what makes companies like Duck Duck Go different?

  • Their browsers are automatically set to private mode, also known as incognito mode, eliminating location tracking. 
  • They use tracker blockers automatically rather than an optional, downloadable extension.
  • They will automatically delete any browsing history after each session.
  • The user receives fewer ads in their browsing experience since they cannot be tracked.
  • Search results are inherently less biased as private browsers do not select content based on your personal information. 

Are there any downfalls to private browsers?

  • Blocking all trackers will impact the user’s experience and can block videos or shopping capabilities.
  • Private browsers also do not block the internet provider from tracking the website the user visits.  For instance, if you are on a public internet such as a hotel or coffee shop, the internet provider still has access to that information.

How do these companies make money?

They still sell advertising to users to search for products or services on their browsers.  Their ads are just more generalized, and they show every user the same ad. 

Still, to this point, it is up to the user’s responsibility to protect their data and monitor the companies tracking and profiting off of their personal data. As a marketing company, Diamond Media Solutions is interested in seeing the consumers continued response to personalization and efficient internet usage over an internet usage experience focused on digital privacy.


Jayme Hill is Chief Operating Officer for Diamond Media Solutions.

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