DuckDuckGo launches a new subscription to bundle VPN and identity theft protection

Privacy-focused consumer tech company DuckDuckGo launched a new Privacy Pro subscription on Thursday that bundles a VPN service, personal information removal and identity theft restoration.

The plan, which costs $9.99 per month or $99 per year, is currently available only to people in the U.S. This is the company’s first move toward a subscription service built into the DuckDuckGo browser.

DuckDuckGo has been profitable since 2014, but has so far relied on ad revenue. The subscription service opens up a new avenue for the company to make money.

Image Credits: DuckDuckGo

The VPN uses the open source WireGuard protocol to protect your identity while you visit different sites on the web. The company said that all DNS queries are also routed through DuckDuckGo’s own DNS resolvers, so internet service providers (ISPs) can’t snoop on your browsing history.

With its personal information removal service, DuckDuckGo scans dozens of data broker sites to find details like your name and address. If the service finds your details on any of these sites, it requests removal and also handles email correspondence with them.

Image Credits: DuckDuckGo

The company says that this feature builds on Removaly’s tech, a startup DuckDuckGo acquired in 2022. (At that time, Removaly’s founder, Kyle Krzeski, posted on X that a privacy company acquired the startup without naming it.)

The third feature of DuckDuckGo’s privacy pro plan is identity theft restoration, where an advisor would help you recover your identity-related loss around the clock. This includes financial losses, fixing credit reports by even freezing the report until identity is restored, and replacing and canceling items like driver’s licenses, bank cards, and passports. The company said that the recovery agent would work with you, deal with all the formalities, and follow up with various companies.

DDG ID theft

Image Credits: DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo says that to ensure user privacy, it maintains no logs of users’ VPN activity, stores data provided during personal information removal on the local device and the company assigns a random ID when users sign up for the Privacy Pro service.

Earlier this year, DuckDuckGo added cross-device syncing for passwords and bookmarks for easy access to this information.

Earlier this year, court filings in the U.S. Department of Justice vs. Google revealed that DuckDuckGo accounted for only 2.5% of general search queries in the U.S. in 2021 and between 0.5% to 2.5% in Europe in 2023.


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