Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

These 6 Popular Browser Extensions are Collecting and Selling Your Data

“If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”

Indeed, some popular web browser extensions are collecting and even selling your data — including pages you visit and the photos you’ve looked at. I refuse to install web browsers unless I am 100% certain they are not spyware. Unfortunately, that is difficult to determine from most browser extensions. Luckily, other people have tested many of the more popular web browser extensions and have identified the privacy issues in each.

A Washington Post investigation found numerous extensions that collect your data, but the most widely-used are Hover Zoom, SpeakIt!, SuperZoom, SaveFrom.net Helper, FairShare Unlock and PanelMeasurement. All six extensions were available on Google Chrome and two were available on Mozilla Firefox as well. All told, the extensions have a combined 4 million users, all of whom are having their personal data collected and sold.

The recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal is but one result. We all can assume there are many more companies using similar “dirty tricks” to sell you products or political misinformation.

An article by Allison Matyus in the Digital Trends web site provides details and even names many of the web browser extensions that are trying to alter your shopping habits and political beliefs. You can find the article at http://bit.ly/2LxKL1l.

Please keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list of all the spying web browser extensions. It is simply a list of the more popular extensions. Undoubtedly, there are more spyware browser extensions that are tracking you and collecting your most private information.

Do you REALLY need that web browser extension?

Categories: Online Privacy & Security

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