Some users have alleged that Microsoft’s newest browser is pilfering their data from Google Chrome, said ZDNet. Chris Matyzczyk from ZDNet investigated the incidents in an attempt to know the truth behind these reports.
Matyzczyk noted “disturbing allegations” by a software developer posted on Reddit saying that Microsoft has some “invasive” tricks. The tech giant supposedly uses the browser to steal data from Windows 10 users’ default browsers.
The Reddit post claims that Edge does not give an option to close the window once opened for the first time. This forces users to go through the Get Started wizard and that the only way to get rid of the window is to end the task in the Task Manager.
However, the browser automatically creates a desktop icon and pins itself to the taskbar. It also sets removes the default browser setting, which means that users would have to choose a default browser the next time they click on a URL.
The Redditor also said, “Apparently it ingests data from other browsers without your permission.” Edge allegedly copies data from the default browser, specifically Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, despite taking necessary measures to minimize privacy invasion.
Upon reading similar reports, Matyzczyk got in touch with Microsoft to inquire about such “disturbingly sneaky” moves. According to a Microsoft spokesperson, “We believe browser data belongs to the customer and they have the right to decide what they should do with it. Like other browsers, Microsoft Edge offers people the opportunity to import data during setup.”
Matyzczyk also noted that such tactics can be used to trick users without much technical knowledge such as the elderly. This means that they may have been using Edge without knowing, especially as it sneakily imported files from their former browser.
This is not the first time Microsoft is under fire for forcing its products and updates on users. Last year, the company rolled out a forced Windows 10 upgrade, which broke the computers of many users.
As a result, the tech giant was compelled to pay users for damages. In one case, Microsoft paid €1,100 to a Finnish consumer after Finland’s consumer protection watchdog investigated the case. The Windows 10 upgrade was forcibly installed on the user’s Windows 8.1 computer without explicit permission.
A similar issue was found in California, where the company paid the user $10,000.