Geoffrey A. Fowler for the Washington Post:
I've seen you check in for a flight and see your doctor refill prescription.
I've looked inside the corporate network in reports of wrong rockets. If I wanted, I could even have opened a tax return you only shared with your accountant.
I found your data because it is for sale online. Even more frightening: It happens because of software you probably installed yourself.
My latest survey of the secret life of our data is not a fire drill. I worked with an independent security researcher and found as many as 4 million people have leaked personal and business secrets through Chrome and Firefox. Even a colleague in The Washington Post's press room was recorded. When we told Google and Mozilla browsers, they immediately stopped these leaks ̵1; but we probably only identified a fraction of the problem.
The root of this privacy is a network extension. Also known as add-ons and plug-ins, the small programs are used by almost half of all surfers on the desktop to make it easier to browse, such as finding coupons or remembering passwords. People install them, provided software offered in a store run by Chrome or Firefox must be legitimate.
Not. On. Everyone.
Researchers from North Carolina State University recently tested how many of the 180,000 available Chrome extensions are leaking privacy sensitive data. They found 3,800 such extensions – and the 10 most popular ones have more than 60 million users.
MacDailyNews Take: Once again, we will hopefully get some real protection for US consumers through comprehensive federal privacy laws. Users should be asked for consent in advance and have the option of deleting their data at any time.
People who value privacy and security use Apple products. – MacDailyNews, September 12, 2015
The more people are educated about uncontrolled data collection, and the more that value their privacy, the better Apple's sales. Today, it is literally Apple against the world. – MacDailyNews, July 14, 2017
[Attribution: Forbes. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]