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Web of Trust caught selling browser history of its users

Posted on Wednesday, November 09 2016 @ 14:33:02 CET by

Web of Trust is a browser plug-in used by an estimated tens of millions of Internet users to verify if a website is trustworthy or not. This makes it all the more ironic that Web of Trust is in the news today as researchers discovered that this plug-in has little respect for your privacy.

As reported over at Engadget, the company behind the plug-in was caught collecting and selling its users' web history to third parties. This was done without getting consent or explicitly warning users, and without offering a way to opt-out. Furthermore, Web of Trust did not sufficiently anonymize the data it sold:
Web of Trust Services' browser add-on has left the extension libraries for Chrome, Firefox and Opera after a German broadcaster's investigation revealed that Web of Trust was collecting and selling users' web histories to third parties. While the company said that it was anonymizing data, that didn't hold up under scrutiny. The broadcaster managed to identify over 50 people from sample data, and uncovered everything from active police investigations to the implied sexual orientation of a judge.
Web of Trust claims it's reexamining its privacy policy and promises to offer an opt-out as well as improvements to the way it cleans data of potentially identifying info. This updated version is expected to be released in a few weeks.



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