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MB-240 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service

Candidates for this test are Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement functional consultants with Field Service expertise. Candidates are responsible for implementing solutions that manage resources that complete the field service lifecycle.

Candidates implement the field service processes designed in collaboration with internal and external teams. This collaboration includes configuring the default administration areas of the Field Service application, deploying the Connected Field Service (IoT) solution and the mobile application, and implementing any additional needed customizations. Candidates are responsible for the configuration and deployment of the Field Service application in conjunction with the core customer service application.

Candidates must have knowledge of how to configure and customize components of the Field Service application, including configuring services, resources, characteristics, incidents, inventory integration, service agreements, resource scheduling, work orders, service tasks, field service user roles, field service settings, the Connected Field Service (IoT) solution, and configuration of the Field Service Mobile app.

Configure field service applications (20-25%)
Manage work orders (15-20%)
Schedule and dispatch work orders (20-25%)
Manage field service mobility (10-15%)
Manage inventory and purchasing (10-15%)
Manage assets and agreements (10-15%)

Configure field service applications (20-25%)
Configure general settings
 determine and configure field service security roles
 determine and configure resource scheduling options
 identify and configure field service entities
 determine and configure product and service categories
 configure territories, postal codes and organizational units
 determine and configure skill types
 configure characteristics and skills
 configure proficiency models
 implement resource roles and categories
 set defaults for work orders, bookings, the schedule board, and agreements
Configure product and service pricing
 create a product or service
 configure minimum charge amount and duration
 add products and services to incidents
 determine when a product has a default list price and a work order price list
 associate products and services with price lists
 define tax codes
 set up price list validity dates
Configure bookable resources
 manage bookable resources
 enable mapping functionality
 configure geocoding
 define start and end locations for resources
 define work hours for resources
 set up bookable resource categories, characteristics, and resource pay types
 set up bookable resource territories
 set up resource pools and crews
Integrate other tools with Field Service
 determine uses for Remote Assist
 benefits of using Resource Scheduling Optimization
 benefits of Connected Field Service
 using Push Notifications on the mobile app

Manage work orders (15-20%)
Describe the work order lifecycle
 configure work orders, work order types, and priority
 configure work order lifecycle stages
 configure booking status and work order status values
 configure uses and capabilities for billing accounts, service accounts, and sub-accounts
Create and manage work orders
 create a work order from an incident or an opportunity
 add status and sub-status information to a work order
 organize work orders and resources by geography
 associate a work order and a price list
 identify processes to close a work order
Manage incidents
 configure incident types
 configure service task types
 add service tasks, products, and services
 configure Requirement Groups
 attach Guides to Service Tasks

Schedule and dispatch work orders (20-25%)
Manage scheduling options
 schedule work orders using Schedule Board and Schedule Assistant
 determine when to use each scheduling option
 enable scheduling board geocoding
 manually schedule work orders
 reassign and reschedule work orders
 move incomplete work orders
 understand resource utilization
Implement the Schedule Board
 identify features and uses for Booking Requirements view
 implement the integrated map feature
 create additional schedule boards
 configure schedule boards
 customize the schedule board
 define booking rules
 facility Scheduling
Implement the Schedule Assistant
 apply constraints to resource queries
 filter data
 specify a search radius
Configure Resource Scheduling Optimization (RSO)
 create optimizing profiles
 define objectives and constraints
 configure optimization of resources
 geocoding for travel time
Configure Universal Resource Scheduling
 determine Universal Resource Scheduling use scenarios
 components of Universal Resource Scheduling
 configure URS for field service
 fields passed from work order to requirements
 create requirement views
 configure an entity to be schedulable

Manage field service mobility (10-15%)
Install and configure the mobile app
 configure actions that field agents can perform
 configure the mobile app
 configure display customizations
 assign security roles
 administer connected devices
 integrate with Dynamics 365 Guides
 add Guides to HoloLens app
Manage mobile projects
 identify project artifacts that can be modified or edited
 modify configuration settings
 publish a mobile project
 Mobile Device Management, security and synchronization

Manage inventory and purchasing (10-15%)
Manage inventory
 set up inventory and warehouses
 view product inventory
 adjust inventory levels
 transfer inventory
 determine when to integrate inventory with Enterprise Resource Planning application
Manage purchasing and product returns
 determine the purchase order process
 create purchase orders
 create a list of receivable products for a purchase order
 determine product return options
 create return merchandise authorizations (RMAs) and return to vendor (RTV)
 finalize returns

Manage assets and agreements (10-15%)
Create and manage agreements
 determine when to use agreements
 define and configure agreement preferences and settings
 configure automatic generation of bookings
 configure automatic generation of invoices
 define Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
 enable SLAs
 add an SLA to a Work Order
 using Entitlements
Manage customer assets
 create and register customer assets
 configure products to auto-create customer assets
 associate work orders with customer assets
 create child assets
 determine opportunities for Internet of Things (IoT)
 configure Connected Field Service
 manage IoT devices

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service
Microsoft Microsoft information
Killexams : Microsoft Microsoft information - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/MB-240 Search results Killexams : Microsoft Microsoft information - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/MB-240 https://killexams.com/exam_list/Microsoft Killexams : Microsoft expands Defender range with new products

Microsoft has expanded its suite of ‘Defender' products as it looks to grow its security portfolio available to channel players and customers.

The technology giant is debuting new threat intelligence and attack management software as it claimed the threat landscape "is more sophisticated than ever and damages have soared" in a blog post.

Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft's corporate vice president of security, compliance, identity, and management, highlighted in the post that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's 2021 IC3 report found that the cost of cybercrime now totals more than $6.9bn.

"To counter these threats, Microsoft is continuously aggregating signal and threat intelligence across the digital estate, which is enabling us to track threat actors much more closely and to better understand their behaviour over time," he wrote

Microsoft Defender Intelligence provides direct access to real-time data from Microsoft's security signals and maps the internet to provide security teams with information to understand adversaries and their attack techniques.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Defender External Attack Surface Management helps customers discover unmanaged resources that could be potential entry points for an attacker.

"These new threat intelligence offerings expand our growing security portfolio, offer deeper insights into threat actors and their behaviours, and help security teams accelerate the identification and prioritization of risks," Jakkal said.

"Today, Microsoft tracks 35 ransomware families, and more than 250 unique nation-states, cybercriminals, and other threat actors.

"Our cloud also processes and analyses more than 43 trillion security signals every single day. This massive amount of intelligence derived from our platform and products gives us unique insights to help protect customers from the inside out."

Mon, 08 Aug 2022 02:57:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.channelweb.co.uk/news/4054424/microsoft-expands-defender-range-products
Killexams : Microsoft’s yet-to-be-announced “Designer” tool: More information is revealed

Microsoft detective “WalkingCat” released photographs of a programme called “Designer” on the internet in May of this year. There were a few more clues this week concerning the still-unannounced Designer, including an apparent codename, “Oasis.”

This app seems to be designed to assist people produce polished-looking Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, brochures and invites. It’s up to the user whether they choose a blank canvas or one of the pre-made templates. Users with personal or academic Microsoft accounts had access to a preview of the Designer tool at designer.microsoft.com for a short time, but Microsoft has subsequently restricted content at that URL, despite the Designer logo still appearing.)

On the Designer preview page from WalkingCat this week, visitors may pick what style of design they want to build, answer the question “What would you want to express to your audience,” and choose a colour scheme. The top of the website reads, “We combine your content and AI to develop designs for you.”

For additional templates, check out Microsoft Create at the bottom of this page. A link to create.microsoft.com, which seems to be where these templates are housed, was uncovered by The Cat through Twitter yesterday. There was an error message for those of us who attempted to visit that URL, informing us that the site/app was not yet available and that we should return later.

With this new Designer tool, some are wondering whether Microsoft is trying to compete with the Canva platform/service. As a longtime user of Microsoft Sway, I’m hopeful that Designer, which hasn’t been updated since 2017, will be Sway’s heir apparent. Also, there may be synergies between this new Designer tool and PowerPoint Designer, particularly in the area of providing recommended ideas.

What I’m predicting is that when Microsoft launches their Designer tool, they’ll declare that Designer’s ability to generate ideas and comprehend user intent is due to the Context IQ suite of predictive AI capabilities originally revealed publicly in November.

I’m not sure when the Designer and Create previews will be made available to the public by Microsoft. If you’re interested in chiming in, please do so through the customary means of “we have nothing to contribute.”

The codename Oasis, which I discovered when searching for it on the create.microsoft.com URL, isn’t the first time Microsoft has used it as a codename. The holographic shell was codenamed “Oasis” back when the Windows team was still aiming to build many “shells” for Windows 10. According to authorities, the Oasis codename was safe to resuscitate since that notion is no longer being pursued.

As previously reported by Windows Central on August 4th, Microsoft has revised the cost for its Clipchamp web-based video editor. Many premium features have been decreased in price and the paid tiers have been reduced to just one. It used to cost between $9 and $39 to upgrade to Clipchamp’s “Essentials” tier, but now there is only one $11.99 price that includes all of the premium features. In addition, there is a free tier as well.

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 21:23:00 -0500 Catherine A. Leal en-US text/html https://bestgamingpro.com/microsofts-yet-to-be-announced-designer-tool-more-information-is-revealed/
Killexams : Microsoft bolsters threat intelligence security portfolio with two new products

Drawing from last year's acquisition of RiskIQ, Microsoft is adding two new threat-intelligence applications to its Defender product family, and separately offering new detection and response capabilities for SAP ERP systems to its Sentinel SIEM (security information and event management) product.

Combining intelligence from the security research team at RiskIQ with existing in-house security findings, Microsoft has developed Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence, a standalone library of raw adversary data. Microsoft says it is offering the library for free, accessible directly by all users, or from within its existing Defender family of security products, according to a blog post from Vasu Jakkal, a Microsoft vice president for security, compliance, identity, and management.

Microsoft has also released Microsoft Defender External Attack Surface Management, designed to scan users' computing environments and connections to provide security teams with the same view an attacker has of their organization while selecting a target.

Threat library offers real-time adversary intelligence

According to Jakkal, Microsoft will combine its in-house security data—gathered from a tracking network of 35 ransomware families, 250+ unique nation-states, cybercriminals, and threat actors—with the intelligence acquired by RiskIQ, for real-time updating of the new Defender Threat Intelligence (DFI) library.

The library will provide raw threat intelligence detailing adversaries by name— correlating their tools, tactics, and procedures (TTPs)—and will provide updates when new information is distilled from a host of sources including Microsoft’s nation-state tracking team, Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC), and the Microsoft 365 Defender security research teams. 

DFI is aimed at helping security operations centers (SOCs) understand the specific threats their organizations face and harden their security posture accordingly, added Jakkal.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 03:39:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.csoonline.com/article/3669312/microsoft-boosts-threat-intelligence-with-new-defender-programs.html
Killexams : Microsoft tests a Game Pass family plan, Windows 11 widget

Microsoft is giving PC gamers another reason to use the Widgets panel in Windows 11: a new Game Pass widget. But that’s not all, as the company is also testing more expansive Game Pass family plan options in select countries.

Windows 11 widgets have been somewhat controversial. Essentially, they’re a small collection of news and information that you can use to keep up on the events of the world, or else they can be wasted space that you’ll want to remove. Microsoft is reportedly opening up widgets to third-party developers, though.

But Microsoft realizes that its superb Game Pass Ultimate subscription (which you can get for “free,” or by working the system) has an inherent problem: you never quite know what’s available, what’s not, what’s arriving, and what’s departing the subscription. That’s where the Game Pass widget comes in. You can add it to your existing list of widgets, and never have to miss a thing.

The catch? It’s only available to Windows Insider preview testers at the moment, specifically as part of Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25174 in the Dev Channel. If it’s anything like Microsoft’s other additions, however, expect to see it sneak into the Windows 11 Stable Channel soon for mainstream users.

Windows 11 Widgets 2
You’ll be able to add the Game Pass widget to your existing collection, shown here.

Mark Hachman / IDG

To add the Game Pass widget, Dev Channel users can open the Widgets board on the left-hand corner of your screen. Click on the “+” icon next to your user profile, then scroll down to the Game Pass widget and add the “+” icon, too. You should now see the Game Pass icon as part of the Widgets board.

[ Further reading: Best cloud gaming services: GeForce Now vs. Xbox Game Pass vs. Google Stadia and others ]

It might not be just you that should add the Game Pass subscription, either. Microsoft said Thursday that it is testing a new shareable Game Pass Ultimate subscription — the family plan that some have hoped Microsoft would add. Under the new subscription, gamers would be able to share their Game Pass Ultimate subscription with four other people. Unfortunately, Microsoft is limiting the trial to just Colombia and Ireland right now.

Microsoft isn’t saying exactly how much the subscription will cost, either, though “a full month of Ultimate will be converted to 18 days of membership for this plan,” Microsoft said. Those you share the subscription with, however, won’t be able to convert their subscription over to a family plan, however.

In any event, both additions to Microsoft’s Game Pass plan certainly continue Microsoft’s trend to expand Game Pass and its subscription model. Microsoft wants you to think about subscribing to Game Pass alongside Spotify, Netflix, and other services, and this is a handy way to do it.

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 08:51:00 -0500 Author: Mark Hachman en-US text/html https://www.pcworld.com/article/827596/microsofts-game-pass-is-testing-a-widget-and-family-plan.html
Killexams : DuckDuckGo Browser to Start Blocking Microsoft Trackers
Duckduckgo Microsoft Trackers Featured

Previously, we reported that the DuckDuckGo browser wasn’t as private as you might have thought, as it allowed Microsoft trackers. However, a new blog post from DuckDuckGo announced that the browser would have more web-tracking protections and would now block Microsoft trackers.

DuckDuckGo’s Transparency

It was clear after my first news report on this subject that the people behind DuckDuckGo are very concerned about how the browser and search engine are being conveyed. They issued a statement that we added in full to the end of my original news piece.

DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg said in the statement that they “have always been extremely careful to never promise anonymity when browsing,” as it just isn’t possible. He also mentioned they were making updates to the app store descriptions to make that more clear.

Weinberg was also totally honest by stating that one of the “constraints” in providing protection is “contractual.” DuckDuckGo gets most of its search results from Bing. This is what created the initial deeper look at this practice. If you click a Microsoft ad while on the DuckDuckGo browser, your IP address would be sent to Microsoft.

New DuckDuckGo Browser Policy

Weinberg published a blog post on August 5, stating that the company’s vision is “to raise the standard of trust online,” and that includes being transparent about its own privacy protections. The hope is for it to “make the Internet less creepy.”

At this point, I think we’re all on the same page. As patrons of the Internet, we want privacy, we want apps and websites to be transparent, and certainly, we would all like it to be less creepy. The Internet is a powerful beast, and with power comes responsibility. As an Internet user, I just want websites to be honest. If a website or app is going to use my information, they should at least admit to it.

Weinberg reported that he heard from multiple users that DuckDuckGo wasn’t meeting “their expectations around one of our browser’s web tracking protections.”

Throughout this week, DuckDuckGo is expanding the list of scripts its Third-Party Tracker Loading Protections blocks on websites. It will now include Microsoft scripts on iOS and Android apps and Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera extensions. More beta apps are upcoming. The scripts that are already on the list include Facebook and Google.

While many browsers have a default tracking protection, it mostly deals with cookie and fingerprinting protections that “restrict third-party tracking scripts after they load in your browser.” Yet, this leaves your IP address and other identifying information vulnerable. The Third-Party Tracker Loading Protection fills that void and prevents the trackers from loading.

Weinberg reported that they did not have a contractual commitment with any company other than Microsoft, and now, they are no longer limited with Microsoft. Additionally, he stated that Microsoft tracking was already limited because of other web-tracking protections, but now, the update allows for more tracking of blockers than with most other browsers.

Continued Privacy

Now when you click on a Microsoft-provided ad that appears on DuckDuckGo, Microsoft Advertising does not associate your ad-click behavior with a user profile. To see whether an ad on DuckDuckGo is effective within Microsoft Advertising, Microsoft scripts bearing the bat.bing.com domain are used.

DuckDuckGo is now “working on an architecture for private ad conversions that can be externally validated as non-profiling” to no longer rely on bat.bing.com, and Safari and Firefox are working on this issue as well.

While browser extensions, non-beta apps, and Tracker Rader were already open source, DuckDuckGo has made its tracker protection list available to the public and updated the Privacy Dashboard to show more third-party request information. There has also been a new help page added.

Weinberg ended his blog post by stating that he’s “been building DuckDuckGo as an independent company for almost 15 years” and that he believes “more than ever that the majority of people online would choose to be more private if they could press a privacy’ easy button.’ That’s why our product vision is to pack as much privacy as we can into one package. We’re committed for the long haul to make simple privacy protection available to all and will continue striving to strengthen the quality, understanding, and confidence in our product.”

Looking for more about DuckDuckGo? Read about its email protection service.

Image credit: Unsplash All screenshots by Laura Tucker

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Sun, 07 Aug 2022 22:25:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.maketecheasier.com/duckduckgo-browser-blocking-microsoft-trackers/
Killexams : Microsoft bars Tutanota users from registering MS Teams accounts

Tutanota has over 2 million registered users but Microsoft is actively blocking Tutanota email addresses from registering a Microsoft Teams account. For your information, Tutanota is a secure email service that offers end-to-end encryption to protect your messages from being read by third parties.

According to Hanover, Germany-based email service provider Tutanota, this is a “severe anti-competitive practice” and a clear attempt by Microsoft to restrict users from using a secure email service.

Getting into reseasoning, Tutanota’s spokesperson told Hackread.com that Microsoft is blocking Tutanota addresses because they do not recognize Tutanota as an email service, but as a ‘corporate address.’

When the first Tutanota user registered a Teams account, they were assigned the domain. That’s why (as shown in the screenshot below) everyone who logs in with a Tutanota address should report to their ‘admin’ now. 

Matthias Pfau, co-founder of Tutanota wrote in a blog post that his company followed up with Microsoft but a spokesperson responded that it will not be possible to change the current situation with Tutanota.

Microsoft would only have to change the settings that Tutanota is an email service so that everyone can register an individual account but they (Microsoft) say such a change is not possible.

Tutanota

Nevertheless, this is a major problem for those who want to use both services, as they can’t register a Microsoft Teams account. However, Tutanota still expects Microsoft would make the necessary changes and won’t harm its 2 million user base.

Sat, 06 Aug 2022 01:43:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.hackread.com/microsoft-tutanota-email-register-ms-teams-account/
Killexams : Microsoft boosts threat intelligence with two new Defender programs

Drawing from last year's acquisition of RiskIQ, Microsoft is adding two new threat-intelligence applications to its Defender product family, and separately offering new detection and response capabilities for SAP ERP systems to its Sentinel SIEM (security information and event management) product.

Combining intelligence from the security research team at RiskIQ with existing in-house security findings, Microsoft has developed Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence, a standalone library of raw adversary data. Microsoft says it is offering the library for free, accessible directly by all users, or from within its existing Defender family of security products, according to a blog post from Vasu Jakkal, a Microsoft vice president for security, compliance, identity, and management.

Microsoft has also released Microsoft Defender External Attack Surface Management, designed to scan users' computing environments and connections to provide security teams with the same view an attacker has of their organization while selecting a target.

Threat library offers real-time adversary intelligence

According to Jakkal, Microsoft will combine its in-house security data—gathered from a tracking network of 35 ransomware families, 250+ unique nation-states, cybercriminals, and threat actors—with the intelligence acquired by RiskIQ, for real-time updating of the new Defender Threat Intelligence (DFI) library.

The library will provide raw threat intelligence detailing adversaries by name— correlating their tools, tactics, and procedures (TTPs)—and will provide updates when new information is distilled from a host of sources including Microsoft’s nation-state tracking team, Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC), and the Microsoft 365 Defender security research teams. 

DFI is aimed at helping security operations centers (SOCs) understand the specific threats their organizations face and harden their security posture accordingly, added Jakkal.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 03:39:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.csoonline.com/article/3669312/microsoft-boosts-threat-intelligence-with-new-defender-programs.html
Killexams : How to sign in or sign out of Widgets Board in Windows 11

Widgets on Windows became massively common after Windows 11 rolled out. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Widgets are small programs or windows on your PC that display information on your screen based on your selective taste and interest. Today, we will be looking at how you can sign in or sign out of your Widget Boards in Windows 11.

Your Widgets appear on the Widget board and based on your interests, these app badges help you keep up with news from around the world, a thing for which people previously used different apps or devices. Connectivity with the Widgets Board is established by signing into it with your Microsoft account, your work account, or a school account.

Since it isn’t currently possible to switch between different accounts on a Widgets Board, it is advisable to sign out and in using different accounts. This is what we’ll be going through today.

While signing out of the Widgets Board is a pretty straightforward process, signing into it using your Microsoft account can be a little time taking. We will look at the latter first.

How to sign in to the Widgets Board in Windows 11?

How to sign in or sign out of Widgets Board in Windows 11

  1. Press the Windows + ‘W’ key combination to open the Widgets dashboard
  2. Hover over the top-right corner of the screen and click on your profile icon badge
  3. If you aren’t signed into it, you’ll see one of two screens; one that asks you to log in with an account previously saved, as shown in the picture below, or an answer that simply says ‘Sign in’. If it says sign in, follow the steps below
  4. Type in the address of your Microsoft account and click on Next
  5. Type in the password of your account and proceed by clicking on Sign in
  6. Typically, users have the two-step verification process activated on their Microsoft account, and if you do too, then you’ll have to verify your activity

Enter the code and select if you want your Microsoft account to say logged in everywhere or just for Microsoft apps. Doing so should help you get into the Widgets Board panel where you can customize them to suit your preferences. Now, let’s look at how you can log out of it so that it can be used from an alternate account.

How to sign out of the Widgets Board in Windows 11?

Now, onto the counterpart, where we look at how you can sign out of the Widgets Board. Just follow the steps as detailed below:

  1. Press the Windows + ‘W’ key combination to open Widgets
  2. Move to the top-right corner and click on the Widgets settings that appear in the form of your Microsoft Profile icon
  3. At the center of the screen, you’ll see an option to sign out. Click on it and you’re done.

Read: Windows 11 Widgets not working, loading or are blank

Windows 11 Widgets can’t sign in

If you experience issues with your Widgets not working properly, where you can’t sign into them, then there may be an issue with your graphics driver. In such a case, a suggestion is to disable or re-enable the relevant drivers on your PC.

Read: How to Uninstall or Reinstall Widgets in Windows 11

How do I remove news from widgets in Windows 11?

Several users have asked how they can get rid of the news section from the Widgets Board on Windows 11. Unfortunately, it is not possible to remove the news section, but what you can do is hide the news from certain sources or unfollow interests that aren’t needed anymore. Another solution to this problem is to disable the Widgets feature altogether on your PC.

This was our guide to signing in and out of the Widgets Board in Windows 11. We hope that you found it helpful.

How to sign in or sign out of Widgets Board in Windows 11
Tue, 26 Jul 2022 20:57:00 -0500 en-us text/html https://www.thewindowsclub.com/how-to-sign-in-or-sign-out-of-widgets-board-in-windows-11
Killexams : DuckDuckGo finally blocks Microsoft tracking scripts from loading on websites No result found, try new keyword!DuckDuckGo says that its third-party Tracker Loading Protection helps address this vulnerability, by stopping most trackers from loading in the first place. Sun, 07 Aug 2022 21:47:29 -0500 en-in text/html https://www.msn.com/en-in/money/topstories/duckduckgo-finally-blocks-microsoft-tracking-scripts-from-loading-on-websites/ar-AA10qKG3?fromMaestro=true Killexams : DuckDuckGo removes carve-out for Microsoft tracking scripts after securing policy change

A few months on from a tracking controversy hitting privacy-centric search veteran, DuckDuckGo, the company has announced it’s been able to amend terms with Microsoft, its search syndication partner, that had previously meant its mobile browsers and browser extensions were prevented from blocking advertising requests made by Microsoft scripts on third party sites.

In a blog post pledging “more privacy and transparency for DuckDuckGo web tracking protections”, founder and CEO, Gabe Weinberg, writes: “Over the next week, we will expand the third-party tracking scripts we block from loading on websites to include scripts from Microsoft in our browsing apps (iOS and Android) and our browser extensions (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Opera), with beta apps to follow in the coming month.”

“This expands our 3rd-Party Tracker Loading Protection, which blocks identified tracking scripts from Facebook, Google, and other companies from loading on third-party websites, to now include third-party Microsoft tracking scripts. This web tracking protection is not offered by most other popular browsers by default and sits on top of many other DuckDuckGo protections,” he added.

DDG claims this third-party tracker loading protection is not offered by most other popular browsers by default.

“Most browsers’ default tracking protection focuses on cookie and fingerprinting protections that only restrict third-party tracking scripts after they load in your browser. Unfortunately, that level of protection leaves information like your IP address and other identifiers sent with loading requests vulnerable to profiling. Our 3rd-Party Tracker Loading Protection helps address this vulnerability, by stopping most 3rd-party trackers from loading in the first place, providing significantly more protection,” Weinberg writes in the blog post.

“Previously, we were limited in how we could apply our 3rd-Party Tracker Loading Protection on Microsoft tracking scripts due to a policy requirement related to our use of Bing as a source for our private search results. We’re glad this is no longer the case. We have not had, and do not have, any similar limitation with any other company.”

“Microsoft scripts were never embedded in our search engine or apps, which do not track you,” he adds. “Websites insert these scripts for their own purposes, and so they never sent any information to DuckDuckGo. Since we were already restricting Microsoft tracking through our other web tracking protections, like blocking Microsoft’s third-party cookies in our browsers, this update means we’re now doing much more to block trackers than most other browsers.

Asked if DDG will be publishing its new contract with Microsoft, or whether it’s still bound by an NDA, Weinberg said: “Nothing else has changed and we don’t have other information to share on this.”

The carve-out for DDG’s search provider was picked up in May via an independent audit conducted by privacy researcher, Zach Edwards.

At the time DDG ‘fessed up to anomaly but said it essentially had no choice to accept Microsoft’s terms, although it also said it wasn’t happy about the restriction and hoped to be able to remove it in the future.  

Asked whether the publicity generated by the controversy helped persuade the tech giant to relax the restriction on its ability to block Microsoft ad scripts on non-Microsoft sites, DDG referred us back to Microsoft.

When we put the same question to the tech giant a spokeswoman told us:

Microsoft has policies in place to ensure that we balance the needs of our publishers with the needs of our advertisers to accurately track conversions on our network. We have been partnering with DuckDuckGo to understand the implications of this policy and we are pleased to have arrived at a solution that addresses those concerns.

In a transparency-focused steps being announced today, DDG said it’s publishing its tracker protection list — available here on GitHub — although the company told us the information was available before but suggested it’s easier to find now.

It also sent us the following list of domains where it said it will be blocking Microsoft tracking requests:

Despite this expansion of DDG’s ability to block Microsoft tracking requests, there are still instances where Microsoft ad scripts are not blocked by DDG’s tools by default — related to processes used by advertisers to track conversions (i.e. to determine whether an ad click actually led to a purchase).

“To evaluate whether an ad on DuckDuckGo is effective, advertisers want to know if their ad clicks turn into purchases (conversions). To see this within Microsoft Advertising, they use Microsoft scripts from the bat.bing.com domain,” explains Weinberg in the blog post. “Currently, if an advertiser wants to detect conversions for their own ads that are shown on DuckDuckGo, 3rd-Party Tracker Loading Protection will not block bat.bing.com requests from loading on the advertiser’s website following DuckDuckGo ad clicks, but these requests are blocked in all other contexts. For anyone who wants to avoid this, it’s possible to disable ads in DuckDuckGo search settings.

DDG says it wants to go further to protect user privacy around ad conversion tracking — but admits this won’t happen any time soon. In the blog post Weinberg writes that “eventually” it wants to be able to replace the current process for ad conversions checks by migrating to a new architecture for assessing ad effectiveness privately.

“To eventually replace the reliance on bat.bing.com for evaluating ad effectiveness, we’ve started working on an architecture for private ad conversions that can be externally validated as non-profiling,” he says.

DDG is by no means alone here. Across the industry, all sorts of moves are afoot to evolve/rethink adtech infrastructure in response to privacy backlash — and to rising regulatory risk attached to individual tracking — efforts such as Google’s multi-year push to replace support for tracking cookies in Chrome with an alternative adtech stack (aka its ‘Privacy Sandbox’ proposal; which remains a [delayed] work in progress).

“DuckDuckGo isn’t alone in trying to solve this issue; Safari is working on Private Click Measurement (PCM) and Firefox is working on Interoperable Private Attribution (IPA). We hope these efforts can help move the entire digital ad industry forward to making privacy the default,” adds Weinberg. “We think this work is important because it means we can Improve the advertising-based business model that countless companies rely on to provide free services, making it more private instead of throwing it out entirely.”

Asked about the timeline for developing such an infrastructure, he says: “We don’t have a timeline to share right now but it’s not an imminent announcement.”

Despite DDG’s assertion that viewing ads via its browsers is “anonymous”, its ad disclosure page confirms that it passes some personal data (IP address and user string) to Microsoft, its ad partner — for “accounting purposes” (aka “to charge the advertiser and pay us for proper clicks, which includes detection of improper clicks”, as Weinberg puts it).

“Per our ad page, Microsoft has committed [that] “when you click on a Microsoft-provided ad that appears on DuckDuckGo, Microsoft Advertising does not associate your ad-click behavior with a user profile. It also does not store or share that information other than for accounting purposes,” he says when pressed on what guarantees he has from Microsoft that user data passed for ad conversions doesn’t end up being repurposed for broader tracking and profiling of individuals.

In back and forth with TechCrunch, DDG also repeatedly emphasizied that its policy states that Microsoft does not link this data to a behavioral profile (or, indeed, share a user’s genuine IP address etc).

However Weinberg concedes there are limits on how much control DDG can have over what happens to data once it’s passed — given, for example, the adtech ecosystem’s penchant for sharing (and synching) pseudonymized identifiers (e.g. hashes of identifiers) in order that digital activity may still be linked back to individual profiles, say after a few hops through a chain of third party data processors/enrichers, and thereby removing an earlier privacy screen… So, tl;dr, trying to shield your users’ privacy from prying third parties whilst operating in an ad ecosystem that’s been designed for pervasive surveillance (and allowed to sprawl all over the place) remains a massive firefight. 

“Staying anonymous ‘through the adtech ecosystem’ is a different story because once someone clicks on a site (whether or not they got there through DuckDuckGo search), they become subject to the website owner’s privacy policy and related practices,” Weinberg admits. “In our browsers, we try to limit that through our web privacy protections but we cannot control what the website owner (the ‘first party’) does, which could be sharing data with third-parties in the ad tech ecosystem.”

“The ad disclosure page makes clear viewing ads is anonymous and further covers ad clicks, which has a commitment from Microsoft to not profile users on ad click, which includes any behavioral profiling by them or others. This commitment includes not passing that data on to anyone,” DDG also claims.

“Our privacy policy states that viewing all search results (including ads) is anonymous, and Microsoft Advertising (or anyone else) does not get anything that can de-anonymize user searches at that time (including full IP address) in terms of being able to tie individual searches to individuals or together into a search history,” it adds.

In further developments being highlighted by the company today, DDG said it’s updated the Privacy Dashboard that’s displayed in its apps and extensions — to show “more information” about third-party requests, per its blog post.

“Using the updated Privacy Dashboard, users can see which third-party requests have been blocked from loading and which other third-party requests have loaded, with reasons for both when available,” Weinberg writes on that.

It has also relaunched its help page — with a promise that the overhauled content offers “a comprehensive explanation of all the web tracking protections we provide across platforms”.

“Users now have one place to look if they want to understand the different kinds of web privacy protections we offer on the platforms they use. This page also explains how different web tracking protections are offered based on what is technically possible on each platform, as well as what’s in development for this part of our product roadmap,” its blog post suggests.

Fri, 05 Aug 2022 05:13:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/05/duckduckgo-microsoft-tracking-scripts/
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