Web Security, a Firefox extension with over 200,000 current users, tracks every website users visit and stores that information on a German web server.
The extension was recommended by Mozilla in a blog post last week about add-ons that improve users’ privacy. Mozilla has since edited the post, removing Web Security.
Here’s Catalin Cimpanu, writing for Bleeping Computer about how the extension goes too far in tracking users:
Under normal circumstances, a Firefox add-on that needs to scan for threats might be entitled to check the URLs it scans on a remote server, but according to a format of the data the add-on was sending to the remote server, Web Security appears to be logging more than the current URL.
The data shows the plugin tracking individual users by an ID, along with their browsing pattern, logging how users went from an “oldUrl” to a “newUrl.”
We’re just going to say it again: browsers extensions are a privacy nightmare. Apparently even Mozilla can’t keep track of which extensions are helpful for improving your privacy and which ones are actively spying on users. How are regular users supposed to know who to trust?
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