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In context: Microsoft Edge is accused of stealing data from rival browser Chrome without users' consent. This raises privacy and security concerns, as well as some questions about Microsoft's tactics to gain market share. Is it just a bug or is there something more sinister at play?
Microsoft Edge is back in the spotlight – but not for what you'd think. According to several disgruntled users, Edge has been caught red-handed snatching open tabs and other data from Chrome without so much as a by-your-leave. Tom Warren from The Verge recounted his own ordeal, claiming that Edge surreptitiously hijacked his Chrome tabs across two devices following recent Windows updates.
To make matters worse, the browser didn't even try to cover its tracks, boldly launching itself with all the ill-gotten tabs in tow, as if nothing had happened.
Edge does offer the ability to import data from Google Chrome every time you launch it. This way, you can "always have access to your recent browsing data" in Microsoft own words. However, Warren claims that he had this feature turned off, and he never got a prompt to enable it.
This suggests that the feature may be malfunctioning and operating beyond the user's control, violating their privacy and preferences. If you've encountered a similar issue, you can go to edge://settings/profiles/importBrowsingData and disable the feature.
I installed the latest Windows 11 update (KB5034204) and it rebooted and automatically opened Microsoft Edge with all the Chrome tabs I had open before installing the update ðÂÂ² couldn't believe my eyes. Anyone else had this?
– Tom Warren (@tomwarren) January 24, 2024
This isn't the first time Microsoft has been accused of employing questionable tactics to boost Edge's adoption. From forcing Edge on users through Windows updates to sneaky prompts when attempting to download Chrome, the company has a track record of aggressive browser promotion.
Despite these (minor) controversies, Edge does have its merits. It boasts a sleek interface and some nifty features, such as Collections, Immersive Reader, and Vertical Tabs – not to mention all the new AI goodies. However, resorting to underhanded tactics may not be the best way to win hearts and minds, and may backfire in the long run.
Fortunately, for those weary of Edge's antics, relief may be on the horizon, at least for EU users. Soon, they'll have the option to bid adieu to Edge with a simple right-click in the Start menu, thanks to the European Union's Digital Markets Act, which pulls the reins on big tech's dominance.