Microsoft has provided comment on why its Edge browser has been found to import data from other browsers without consent.
“We believe browser data belongs to the customer and they have the right to decide what they should do with it,” Microsoft told Windows Central.
“Like other browsers, Microsoft Edge offers people the opportunity to import data during setup.”
When installing Microsoft Edge, users are offered options to discard or keep imported data. However, there is actually no option to decide whether data should be imported in the first place.
Despite this, a simple way for users to ensure their data is not carried through to Microsoft Edge is by choosing to discard imported data during the set-up process.
Microsoft’s statement follows a Reddit thread on the Windows 10 subreddit in which many users complained that their data had been imported to Edge without their permission.
“I just installed Edge today for testing, and I noticed my bookmarks from Firefox appear in the background/browser BEHIND the import acceptance dialogue. The bookmarks disappeared after I said I didn’t want it to import anything. Obviously it still went looking before asking,” said one user.
“I did not authorize Edge to copy my Firefox / Chrome data at any point. I’ve jumped through a lot of hoops in the attempt to maintain some level of privacy with this OS. Finally, it just takes my data without giving me the choice to opt out,” said another.
Microsoft has taken several measures to push its new Microsoft Edge browser to users who are not using it.
One example of this was an advertisement that was inserted into the Windows 10 start menu when a user searches their system from an alternative browser – such as Google Chrome.
Google responded by recommending Edge users switch to Google Chrome by displaying pop-ups on several Google sites – such as Docs, Search, Drive, and the Chrome Web Store.