"Microsoft Edge, the popular web browser developed by Microsoft seems to be leaking visited URLs to Bing, Microsoft's web search engine. The recent version of Microsoft Edge is noted to send a request to Bing's API with full detail of virtually every page navigated by users. Following revelations from observant Reddit users, these privacy concerns surrounding Edge came to light.
Microsoft has confirmed they are looking into these reports. Furthermore, investigations revealed that the seemingly privacy encroaching function is actually a poorly realized feature in the Edge browser. More information here.
According to software engineer, Rafael Rivera, a new feature named creator follow, which has been enabled by default on Microsoft Edge, is the reason behind this. This tool was built to notify Bing about user activities on a selection of webpages including YouTube, The Verge, and Reddit. Unfortunately, instead of operating as designed, the feature was discovered to transmit virtually every URL visited to Bing's search API.
The creator follow feature was initially tested last year before being implemented fully recently. The concept is to allow users to follow their preferred online content creators on YouTube and other websites. However, when you disable this feature, the delivery of URLs to Bing's API stops.
Photo Credit: Alex Castro / The Verge
Microsoft has a master filter for the creator follow feature, that supposedly prevents URLs from certain websites such as Pornhub from being sent to Bing's API. But, the alleged filter passes random URLs to Bing's API when the filters don't seem to work, raising more privacy concerns.
To absolve any possible issues, Caitlin Roulston, Microsoft’s Director of Communications, has announced that the reports are under serious investigation. In her statement, she confirmed that Microsoft is yet to give a detailed explanation about the purpose behind the URLs being sent to Bing's API or the configuration of Edge to carry out such operations.
As Microsoft's investigation is ongoing and the issue is pending a solution, it is advisable to disable the “follow creators” feature on Microsoft Edge. For users who didn't know it existed or never used it, there's hardly a need to worry. Turning off this function is very straightforward on Settings.
In the Settings, simply choose the Privacy, Search, and Services tab. Scroll down to Services and turn off the switch beside Show suggestions to follow creators in Microsoft Edge. This should curb any further intrusions.
Microsoft has been making strides in improving the browsing experience for its users, introducing innovations and versatile features. The string of upgrades and releases over the years has shown the company's dedication to making user experience as seamless as possible.
The recent discovery with Microsoft Edge's "follow creators" feature underscores the intricate interplay between innovations and privacy. This incident serves as a learning curve for not just Microsoft but other tech giants to navigate the delicate balance between enhancing user experience and maintaining user privacy.
Rest assured, users should seek to understand the implications of various features in their browsers and use discretion when activating them. Allowing for continued use of said features, only if they do not infringe on their privacy. This incident highlights the importance of community observation and reporting, in ensuring companies maintain these standards.Read the full article Your visited websites are being leaked to Bing by Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft's Edge browser, developed by the tech giant, has been reported to be sending all visited URLs to bingapis.com, the native API developed for Bing Search. A Reddit user was the first to spot this potential privacy issue. Microsoft claims to be looking into these reports.
Interestingly, there seems to be no documentation on this feature that has raised eyebrows, as discovered in an investigation by Rafael Rivera, a software engineer. The Edge browser appears to be implementing the URLs forwarding to the Bing API, which seems to be an unrefined feature in this software.
Upon further exploration, it was revealed that Edge has a recently enabled feature by default, which is a 'Creator Follow Feature'. This tool seems to be designed to notify Bing when a user is on specific webpages such as YouTube, Reddit, or The Verge. However, instead of working as intended, it seems to be sending almost every visited domain to Bing Search.
Microsoft announced through their communications director, Caitlin Roulston, that they are aware of the issue and are actively investigating it. They assured they will take necessary steps to rectify any privacy issues identified.
Until there's a resolution from Microsoft, it is highly recommended for users of Edge browser to disable the 'follow creators' feature. This can be easily achieved by navigating to Settings, choosing the Privacy, Search and Services tab, scrolling down to Services, and toggling off the switch beside 'Show suggestions to follow creators in Microsoft Edge'.
Despite the poor implementation of this feature, it's worth noting that Microsoft continues to be committed to providing secure and private browsing experiences for its users. More updates on this issue are expected soon, ensuring users can safely and enjoyably browse using Edge with confidence.
Microsoft Edge, Bing, Visited Websites, Data Leak, Privacy Breach, Browser Privacy, User Data, Internet Security, Edge Browser Issue, Bing Data Leak