Web browsers are one of the most fundamental components of our web browsing experience. We use them for a variety of things including looking for information, accessing streaming services and our social media accounts, and connecting with friends and family among other things. But have you ever wondered which web browser is not private enough to use? If you haven’t, a college professor has an answer for you.
According to a computer science professor from the Trinity College of Dublin, Ireland, Microsoft’s Edge and Yandex are the least private web browsers that netizens can use.
“From a privacy perspective Microsoft Edge and Yandex are much more worrisome than the other browsers studied. Both send identifiers that are linked to the device hardware and so persist across fresh browser installs and can also be used to link different apps running on the same device,” professor Douglas J Leith wrote in his research paper titled ‘Web Browser Privacy: What Do Browsers Say When They Phone Home?’.
Now the next logical question would be, if Edge and Yandex are the least private web browsers, which are the most private ones? As per his study, Brave is the most private web browser followed by Chrome, Firefox and Safari on the second spot. “In summary, based on our measurements we find that the browsers split into three distinct groups from this privacy perspective. In the first (most private) group lies Brave, in the second Chrome, Firefox and Safari and in the third (least private) group lie Edge and Yandex,” he added.
This piece of information, according to a report by ZDNet didn’t go down well with Microsoft, which in a statement to the publication explained how its Edge web browser works. A company spokesperson in a statement to the publication said that Edge sends diagnostic data used for product improvement purposes to the company. This data includes a device identifier, which on ‘Windows enables a single-click ability to delete the related diagnostic data associated with the device ID stored on Microsoft servers at any time.’
“Microsoft Edge asks for permission to collect diagnostic data for product improvement purposes and provides the capability to turn it off at any later point. This diagnostic data may contain information about websites you visit. However, it is not used to track your browsing history or URLs specifically tied to you,” the spokesperson added.