The Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser is pretty popular these days, and it wouldn’t be surprising to find people using it now in lieu of Google Chrome. But it looks like a little-known feature added to the browser may be sending the URL of sites you visit back to Bing. Specifically, sites you visit are sent back to bingapis.com.
A Reddit user going by the handle hackermchackface shared the discovery of the issue on the site. The user claims that looking for references for the bingapis.com URL “gave very few results” and “no documentation”. The Verge approached software engineer Rafael Rivera, who says that it’s “part of a poorly implemented new feature” in the Microsoft Edge browser.
The feature in question is one that allows users to follow content creators using the browser itself, rather than on a specific site like YouTube. It was initially discovered back in January of last year, being added to the browser without much fanfare. While Microsoft seems to have been rolling out the feature more broadly, it’s not something I’ve noticed in action, despite being able to turn it on or off.
At any rate, a browser sending URLs of sites you visit back to its parent company is problematic to say the least. Some sites are blocked from being sent back to Microsoft, but it’s not really much consolation. A company spokesperson says that it is “aware of reports, are currently investigating and will take appropriate action to address any issue”.
But for what it’s worth, it is possible to turn off the feature which, in turn, stops the Microsoft Edge browser from snitching on you. The Verge notes that this can be done by navigating to Settings, then choosing the Privacy, Search and Services tab, and finally scrolling down to Services until you see “Show suggestions to follow creators in Microsoft Edge. Alternatively, you can just type “services” in the search bar and look for the setting.
(Source: Reddit , , The Verge)
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