Just a few days earlier than Christmas final yr, customers who used Honey on Amazon web sites began receiving a warning from the e-commerce large, in line with Wired. The favored money-saving browser extension that tracks costs and reductions was a “a safety danger,” it stated, and even suggested customers to uninstall the extension “instantly.” Whereas all browser extensions might pose a danger, Honey is not a random product developed by some unknown developer — PayPal bought it final yr for $four billion in what’s its largest acquisition but.
Within the warning it confirmed to patrons, Amazon wrote: “Honey tracks your non-public procuring conduct, collects knowledge like your order historical past and objects saved, and may learn or change any of your knowledge on any web site you go to.” Politico’s Ryan Hutchins tweeted a screenshot of the warning and famous that that is “how all browser extensions work — together with Amazon’s personal extension, which offers an identical service.”
Amazon is telling customers that the browser extension Honey — it offers you coupon codes and different methods to avoid wasting — is malware.
Paypal purchased Honey in November for $four billion. That is one intensive piece of Malware. pic.twitter.com/Di6I8RAX2X
— Ryan Hutchins (@ryanhutchins) December 20, 2019
The Amazon Assistant browser additionally tracks costs and lets patrons examine objects throughout retailers. And, as Wired notes, Google can even inform customers that it might probably “learn and alter all of your knowledge on the web sites” they go to once they set up the extension on Chrome.
It isn’t completely clear what Amazon noticed that made it label Honey, specifically, a safety danger. A spokesperson solely instructed the publication: “Our purpose is to warn clients about browser extensions that gather private procuring knowledge with out their data or consent.” Honey denied that it is a safety danger, telling Wired that its guidelines are clearly spelled out in its privateness and safety coverage. In its privateness guidelines, Honey admits that it “collects data that [users] share straight” with it. Nevertheless, the corporate emphasizes that it “doesn’t monitor [their] search engine historical past, emails, or [their] shopping on any website that isn’t a retail web site” and that it’s going to by no means promote their knowledge.