Browser extensions and phone apps used by a combined 11 million people are recording users’ complete browsing history, a clear violation of privacy.
The tools, all owned by Blue Star Labs, are free. Here’s a list:
- Block Site, an Android app and Chrome/Firefox extension used by 1.6 million people.
- Poper Blocker, a Chrome/Firefox extension used by 2.3 million people.
- CrxMouse, a Chrome extension used by 410,000 people.
- Several popular Android apps including Speed BOOSTER, Battery Saver, AppLock, and Clean Droid.
- AdblockPrime for iOS.
If you use any of these apps we recommend you uninstall them. Andrey Meshkov, writing for Ad Guard, outlined how all of these apps are collecting full browser history, and pointed out why this might be compromising, despite the information supposedly being anonymized:
There are numerous ways of discovering your real identity from observing your browsing history. It can be straightforward, for instance, there is no ambiguity in who can visit this page: https://analytics.twitter.com/user/aymeshkov/tweets. Even if you do not happen to visit such pages, there is still a high chance of exposing your real identity.
Check out the full post for more information.
Maybe you’re okay with giving all of your browsing history to a company you’ve heard of in exchange for a free application. You’re certainly not the first person to feel that way. But we recommend you uninstall browser extensions you’re not using, just in case.
Photo credit: Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock.com
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