Browsers Nix Add-on After Web Of Trust Is Caught Selling Users' Browsing Histories

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by jasetaro, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. jasetaro

    jasetaro Administrator
    Staff Member

    May 20, 2011
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    A browser extension which was found to be harvesting users' browsing histories and selling them to third parties has had its availability pulled from a number of web browsers' add-on repositories.

    Last week, an investigative report by journalists at the Hamburg-based German television broadcaster, Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR), revealed that Web of Trust Services (WoT) had been harvesting netizens' web browsing histories through its browser add-on and then selling them to third parties.

    WoT claimed it anonymised the data that it sold but the journalists were able to identify more than 50 users from the sample data it acquired from an intermediary.

    The journalists added that the browsing histories they obtained also identified information about ongoing police investigations, businesses' sensitive financial details and information which suggested the sexual orientation of a judge.

    NDR quoted the data protection commissioner of Hamburg, Johannes Caspar, criticising WoT for not adequately establishing whether users consented to the tracking and selling of their browsing data.

    Bottom line: If you're using Web of Trust you should uninstall it immediately.

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