Attention all Microsoft Edge users! Beware, Microsoft Edge might be sending URLs to Bing API. Last week, Reddit users discovered that the latest version of Edge was sending a request to bingapis.com with the full URL of almost every page you visit.
This unfortunate discovery was made by a Twitter user scriptjunkie1, who tweeted, “Edge apparently sends the full URL of pages you visit (minus a few popular sites) to Microsoft. And, in contrast to documentation, includes your very non-anonymous account ID (SID).” This wouldn’t be the first time Microsoft has mishandled its user’s data recently. Recently the company faced severe criticism when misconfiguration made Bing and Microsoft 365 vulnerable to hackers.
😱 Edge apparently sends the full URL of pages you visit (minus a few popular sites) to Microsoft. And, in contrast to documentation, includes your very non-anonymous account ID (SID). pic.twitter.com/zHMLUGwo9w
— scriptjunkie (Matt) (@scriptjunkie1) July 19, 2019
The suspicion that Microsoft Edge might be sending URLs to Bing API increased when a Reddit user shared a similar finding. On their Reddit post, user hackermchackface posted, “Searching for References to this URL give very few results, no documentation on this feature at all. JSON response shows type as “Followable Status” which yields zero Google results, which is rare.” The post quickly gained attention among the Reddit community, and internet users bringing the issue to light.
The issue appears to be related to every previously unchecked URL visited, it is passed to bingapis.com, which has significant privacy implications, particularly when the functionality is enabled by default. Users who disable the feature will no longer have their URLs sent to bingapis.com.
Moreover, Reddit user niutech has shared tips to block the same in HOSTS file while user CharmCityCrab seems to have confirmed that the domain is indeed owned by Microsoft. Several users have also been struggling with theirsearch queries being redirected to Bing even though it was not sent as default browser.
Microsoft is improving all its platforms, especially Edge and Bing with AI, but the new revelation raises concerns. Microsoft potentially having access to users’ browsing history could be a significant privacy issue for its billions of users across the world. It’s worrying that Microsoft has not commented on this matter yet and a response is awaited. In the meantime, be vigilant and protect your privacy. Stay tuned for further updates on the matter.
Source: Twitter User