Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge web browser appears to be sending all URLs visited to its Bing API website, The Verge reported earlier Tuesday after the issue came to light last week.
A Reddit user, Hackermchackface, noticed full URLs visited were showing up on bingapis.com, including locally hosted URLs and IP addresses. The site can’t be reached as of publishing, but Microsoft said it’s investigating the issue.
Further investigation by Hackermchackface found the issue stemmed from Microsoft Edge’s “follow content creator” feature. This feature allows people to follow their favorite YouTubers and other content creators in Edge, receiving updates on their latest uploads. Previous versions of follow content creator would only send URLs to Bing APIs for websites that supported the feature, such as Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram. There’s also a master filter that is meant to block certain URLs, like WhatsApp, Pornhub and XNXX.
This issue seems to have popped up in Edge version 112.0.1722.34, released on April 7. Turning off this feature may resolve it.
The feature is now enabled by default in Microsoft Edge, Rafael Rivera, a software engineer for the Ear Trumpet app, told The Verge, and is incorrectly “sending nearly every domain you visit to Bing.”
Your browser history contains lots of personal information, including your interests, location, relationship status, financial status, medical condition and more. Cybercriminals could use this information to impersonate you and steal your identity, or for personalized “phishing” emails or other attacks. Data miners could also sell your information for use in targeted advertising.
How to disable Microsoft Edge ‘follow content creator’ feature
- Open the Microsoft Edge web browser
- Go to Settings
- Navigate to Privacy, Search and Services
- Scroll down to Services
- Turn off Show suggestions to follow creators in Microsoft Edge.