Microsoft Edge is absolutely packed with features of questionable utility, which opens the door for more bugs to creep through. A bug in Edge is causing every page you visit to be sent to Microsoft’s Bing service.
The issue was seemingly first discovered by Reddit user hackermchackface, who found that Edge was sending all pages you visit to a Bing API endpoint. Upon further investigation by software developer Rafael Rivera, and analysis by the same Reddit user, it’s tied to a feature called “Show suggestions to follow creators in Microsoft Edge.” Edge allows you to follow people and manage subscriptions through the browser itself, which is only supposed to apply to sites like YouTube and Pinterest.
In the latest versions of Edge, the list of sites you have visited is sent to Bing servers when the browser starts up. Instead of only sending pages that may have a follow action available, Edge sends every page you have visited. A Reddit post explained, “It doesn’t matter if it’s a local domain, or even an IP address, the full URL of every site you follow from then on is passed to Bing. This includes any links, logins etc, clicked or otherwise navigated to, not just URLs typed or copied into the navigation bar, as is the well known behaviour of other privacy-invading browser features. I’m not convinced this is intentional behaviour by Microsoft.”
Microsoft owns the Bing API, so this isn’t as bad as if Microsoft was sending all your browsing data to an unrelated company, but it’s not great. There’s no known way to delete this data, and the feature is enabled by default.
Microsoft told The Verge in a statement, “We’re aware of reports, are investigating and will take appropriate action to address any issues.” You can turn off the functionality by navigating to Edge settings > Privacy, Search and Services > Services > turn off “Show suggestions to follow creators in Microsoft Edge.”
Source: Reddit (1, 2), The Verge
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