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Duckduckgo and ToS;DR to fuel Internet transparency

At ToS;DR, we are very thrilled to announce a new collaboration with the privacy-aware search engine, DuckDuckGo, to bring more transparency to the Internet! Indeed, DuckDuckGo released few days ago a new add-on that gives a rating to the privacy practices of the website you are visiting grouping security practices such as HTTPS, trackers and privacy policy practices. The latter data is imported from our work at ToS;DR.

We are very happy of this use of our work helping our mission to fix the Internet’s biggest lie! And we'd like to take this opportunity to say that our API is (has always been) open and anyone can use our data.

How does it work?

The work of ToS;DR isn’t focused only on privacy, so to extract this particular data that DuckDuckGo needs, we marked a certain amount of topics as "privacy related". Since 2014, we have an API that allows other services to parse and use our work. So far, this data can be found on our Github (here, here, and there). For the moment, this is the data that DuckDuckGo crawls on a regular basis.

So as our export is done with a cron-job and so is DuckDuckGo’s import, we can ensure that all data displayed on the add-on is at worst, 24h old (which is pretty good).

But, good news, this data, will be included in the API of the Rails application allowing its parsing and its use more easily.

What we did since last time

Since our previous blog post and the release of the alpha version of Phoenix, we worked hard in upgrading the service and taking care of our 2 years old backlog.

We can now gladly say that our backlog is imported to Phoenix and that Phoenix is officially running on edit.tosdr.org replacing the previous MeteorJS version.

We made some UX changes and also trying to improve the the services, but this is still an ongoing work. Chris has committed to work several days a week after the Fosdem to develop the service, so you should expect a lot of changes in the coming months.

Transparency, more transparency

Since the relaunch of the service and DuckDuckGo’s add-on, we enjoyed some press exposure and involvement in the free/libre-software and privacy community. Many people came asking questions on Twitter or by email, opening issues on Github or coming by our IRC channel. We are very happy to see that terms of services still matter and their transparency is a serious issue that many actors want to improve. We encourage you to do it more!

The next 3 months will see a lot of changes in the service, we will surely repair our tool as we update it and we know we cannot do it alone. We will need your help! You can help by using our service, by entering data, asking questions, opening issues on Github... Anything you want!

Wanna hear more good news about us? Follow us on Twitter, Github and come by our IRC channel!

Any questions? Send us an email (team at tosdr.org)!

life of a user without ToS;DR Life without ToS;DR, an illustration