HUGE DATA GATHERING OPERATION UNCOVERED
11 MILLION BROWSER HISTORIES RECORDED
AN INVESTIGATION by AdGuard into Google Chrome browser extensions has uncovered a worrying set of spyware. There are nine suspects, all registered to a previously unknown company called Big Star Labs: Block Site, AdblockPrime, Mobile Health Club, Poper Blocker, CrxMouse, Speed Booster, Battery Saver, AppLock, and Clean Droid.
All are collecting your browser history, and passing it back to Big Star Labs, without asking for explicit consent. Not strictly illegal, but against Google policy. The extensions include a unique identifier with the data they collect, so it’s easy to collate, and directly link your browser history to your real identity, potentially saleable, potentially troublesome.
AdGuard says it hasn’t been able to track down who is getting the data collected. The recording of online activity is increasingly common; data on you has value. Many extensions collect browser history; it is supposed to be anonymous, but it is anything but.