A Prime Day promotion highlights the over-extension of browser extensions

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by dealmaker, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. dealmaker


    A Prime Day promotion highlights the over-extension of browser extensions
    Millions of Americans are still shaking e-migraines induced by all that pervasive Prime Day pontification… if you went to sleep with “Instapots are only $50!” ringing in your ears, you’re not alone.

    But, because of all that noise, a small, strange detail of Prime Day almost went overlooked: Amazon quietlypaidcustomers $10to install something called Amazon Assistant.

    But what in the name of Bezos’ Bumble profile is Amazon Assistant?
    On its face, Amazon Assistant is a browser extension that -- according to Amazon -- helps consumers compare products and organize wish lists.

    Yet the extensionalsoharvests oodles of users’ data, including information about what websites they’re browsing and what products they’re looking at while they’re there.

    Amazon’s browser-based surveillance system monitors searches on competitor sites like Walmart.com or Target.com. But, as aWashington Postreportreveals, other browser bullies are overextending their extensions even further...

    And the extension epidemic is bad news for personal data
    Researchers recently discovered that 3.8k extensions -- 2% of the extensions available on Chrome -- leak sensitive personal data.

    Some leak data accidentally, but others intentionally extract and sell it.

    At least 4m people have unwittingly installed extensions that track their browsing behavior and then sell their data -- ranging from medical records to flight confirmation numbers to tax information -- to the highest bidder.
  2. speedo


  3. LS1Z28


  4. birdman


    I wouldn't be surprised if the real number of extension downloads is in the hundreds of millions, worldwide.

    You can download tons of free resources (print free graph paper for example) and read the fine print you are agreeing to (nobody does). If you aren't installing an extension you certainly are installing adware. Most extensions can replace the Google, Bing or Yahoo sponsored text ads (when you do a search at a search engine) with their own sponsored text ads. Google ads can be replaced with Yahoo and even Google with Google (giving credit to the extension publisher). They often replace banner ads and pre-roll video ads as well. You'd never know nor suspect it.

    In this scenario, after install, when you visit this site or any other, the actual website publisher loses revenue (if his ads are replaced) and the extension publisher makes coin.

    Not saying all extensions do this, but a ton of them do (first hand experience).
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
    apdxyk likes this.