Mozilla, the parent company behind the popular Firefox browser, has taken down four extensions for excessive user data collection…
Browser extensions aren’t necessarily safe just because they’re available through official sources. In fact, some add-ons might even make the web browsing experience worse. Case in point are four extensions Mozilla has pulled for excessive user data collection.
Mozilla Removes Four Firefox Add-Ons for Excessive Data Collection
Mozilla, parent company to the Firefox browser, has pulled Avast’s Online Security and SafePrice extensions for Firefox, plus their AVG-branded equivalents. The company did so after Wladimir Palant, the creator of AdBlock Plus, discovered the software programs were collecting substantially more user data than necessary.
Among the violations of Mozilla’s policies were detailed web history that greatly exceeded site addresses and search history. Data collected included users’ time on sites, when sites were visited, what users clicked on, and even the number of open tabs, as well as keeping tabs on users’ tab switching.
Mozilla prohibits these kinds of granular data collection and pulled the extensions December 3rd, after Palant reported the extensions on the day before. Another web browser, Opera, likewise pulled the same extensions.
However, the extensions in question will return, after tweaking their programs to comply with Firefox’s guidelines.