An innovative feature of the popular Internet browser has played a cruel joke on user privacy.
The Microsoft Edge browser sends the URLs that users visit to the Bing API website. Reddit users first noticed similar privacy issues in Edge last week when they discovered that the latest version of the browser from the "small soft" is sending requests to "bingapis.com" with the full URL of nearly every page the user visits.
“Searching for information on this URL yields very few results, and there is no documentation for this feature at all,” said the Reddit user who first discovered this problem.
While users are trying to figure out why Microsoft Edge suddenly began to follow their Internet movements, Raphael River, a programmer and one of the developers of the EarTrumpet app for Windows 10, commented on the situation: “Microsoft Edge now has a subscription to authors feature, which is enabled by default. The purpose of the feature seems to be to notify Bing when the user is on certain pages such as YouTube, The Verge, or Reddit. But the feature doesn't seem to work correctly, instead sending almost every domain you visit to Bing."
Microsoft first started testing Edge's Creator Subscription feature last year before rolling it out heavily in recent months. The feature is designed to allow users to follow their favorite creators on YouTube and other sites and receive notifications when new content is released. Security experts have discovered that after disabling this feature, URLs are no longer sent to "bingapis.com".
“We are aware of incoming messages. We are investigating and will take appropriate action to resolve any issues,” Caitlin Rawlston, director of communications at Microsoft, said in a statement. The company has not yet explained why the list of visited websites is sent to the above address, but this is probably due to a banal error.
Cybersecurity experts recommend temporarily disabling the subscription to authors feature until Microsoft figures out how to properly configure it. You can do this in the Edge browser settings by typing the word "authors" into the search bar and deactivating the corresponding item: