National Advertising Division Finds Challenged DuckDuckGo Privacy Claims Supported; Recommends Clarifications for Use of App
703.247.9330 / email@example.com
New York, NY – June 23, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that DuckDuckGo provided a reasonable basis for:
- The claim that its Privacy Browser mobile app and Privacy Essentials desktop extension (together the “App”) is the “best, quickest and easiest step you can take for your privacy health,” when, in context the claim refers to being the most comprehensive all-in-one out of the box solution; and
- The message that it does not share consumer personal data with third parties.
However, NAD recommended that to ensure consumers understand the scope of DuckDuckGo’s privacy protections, DuckDuckGo should modify the challenged advertising to make clear that the App’s protection does not extend to the use of search engines and apps outside of the DuckDuckGo solution.
DuckDuckGo offers its App that allows users to have a search experience that empowers them to take control of their personal information online by not saving or sharing personal information with third parties, affording users encrypted searches, and blocking trackers.
The claims at issue were challenged by NAD as part of its independent routine monitoring of truth and transparency in U.S. national advertising. Specifically, NAD examined DuckDuckGo’s potentially overbroad online privacy protection claims, the accuracy of which consumers may not be able to assess on their own.
The challenged claim, “best, quickest and easiest step you can take for your privacy health,” appears in an animated YouTube video. NAD determined that DuckDuckGo provided a reasonable basis that the three forms of protection identified in the video—encryption, tracker blocking, and private search—are its key components to safeguard consumers’ privacy.
Further, NAD determined that DuckDuckGo provided a reasonable basis for the challenged claim that its App is the “best, quickest and easiest step you can take for your privacy health,” as it does not require consumers to reconfigure their computer or purchase additional features. In so finding, NAD noted that although the three biggest competitors of DuckDuckGo can be customized to protect against all three privacy threats, none do so straight out of the box.
NAD also determined that DuckDuckGo provided a reasonable basis for the message reasonably conveyed by the video that it does not share a consumer’s personal data with third parties.
Finally, NAD found that the video, which calls out the collection of data through websites and browser searches as well as mobile apps and “every product Google and Facebook release,” suggests that DuckDuckGo is the solution to the problems depicted. In this context, the claim that DuckDuckGo protects consumers' “privacy health” “no matter where the Internet takes” them reasonably conveys the message that DuckDuckGo protects against all forms of privacy intrusion depicted in the video, even intrusions outside of the App.
Because the App’s protections are not available to a consumer using apps on his/her phone outside of the App, NAD recommended that DuckDuckGo modify the challenged advertising to make clear that the App’s protection does not extend to the use of search engines and apps outside of the DuckDuckGo solution.
In its advertiser statement, DuckDuckGo stated that it “supports NAD’s mission of voluntary self-regulation of advertising and agrees to comply with NAD’s recommendation.”
All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.
National Advertising Review Board Recommends Modifications to T-Mobile Home Internet “Fast,” “High-Speed,” and “Reliable” Claims
New York, NY – May 25, 2023 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) found that T-Mobile‘s express claims for T-Mobile Home Internet (T-HINT) are supported, but recommended certain modifications to the claims so consumers understand the context in which they will receive internet service and the...
National Advertising Division Recommends Clearer Disclosure of Affiliate Advertising Relationships for Renue by Science Dietary Supplements
New York, NY – May 25, 2023 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended Renue by Science modify disclosures of affiliate relationships and modify or discontinue challenged YouTube videos to disclose the advertiser’s relationship to the speaker.
National Advertising Division Finds HelloFresh “Flexible Plans” Claim Supported; Recommends Clear and Conspicuous Disclosure of “16 Free Meals” Material Terms
New York, NY – May 24, 2023 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) determined that HelloFresh supported the claim “Flexible Plans, Less Hassle: Add extra meals to any week’s order, change your delivery day or menu preferences, skip a week or cancel anytime” for its...
Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council Recommends Juice Plus+ Discontinue Certain Earnings and Health-Related Product Claims
McLean, VA – May 23, 2023 – The Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) recommended that Juice Plus+ modify or discontinue certain earnings and health-related product performance claims. These claims were made by Juice Plus+, a direct selling company that sells fruit and vegetable juice extract supplements, as...