If you follow privacy news you might have read that DuckDuckGo, the "private" search engine, has gone into email services.
When I first read about it I was like, ah, another email forwarding service. So what does Duckduckgo do though and how does it do it?
Firstly you can make an email ending with @duck.com which already sold me! How cool is duck over let's say Gmail? The beauty is duck.com is forwarded to your existing email. In other words, you do not need to give your real email when you sign up on a website or service. Yet, the sign-up ends up in your mailbox. It also removes trackers!
You can also generate disposable emails which you can use for newsletters or sign-ups from which you do not need follow-up emails.
Considering that 70% of emails contain trackers, this service is something pretty neat and much needed.
I never signed up for this!
Privacy implications of email tracking
However, consider that in order to remove these trackers DuckDuckGo basically needs to scan your email, not that email isn't mostly in plain sight anyway.
If you are on gmail, outlook or any other free unencrypted mail user, this is surely an extra step to gaining more privacy.
Now, DDG have made an announcement that they do not read your emails, or save them. They even go so far as to say that even the headers are not saved. That means that to send from/to with zero history and so all forwarding is in real time.
The only information DDG has is the forwarding address (your email address), which is needed or they wouldn't know where to forward your emails.
Now compare this with Apple's sign in or even the upcoming Apple iCloud+ Hide My Email (what a mouthful). It is kind of a similar service, and as an Apple user, you'll probably stay in the Apple ecosystem, as you are in too deep anyway. And why involve one more company… yet DuckDuckGo works on all devices. Regardless if you have Linux, Windows, Android or an iDevice.
Personally, I like both options, and that DDG gives a free, easy to use one and even easier to sign up to is great. However, I use AnonAddy, and it is an open-source solution which allows own domains additional to the generated and domain endings they have.
Email is an old tech, which is still used far too much in my opinion. It shouldn't be used that intensively, but if you do, remove some trackers, and do not give out your real email. We have options! And DDG added one worth trying.