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It was Reddit users who discovered this privacy issue, noticing that the latest version of Edge sends queries to bingapis.com with the full URLs of almost every page visited. Microsoft has taken notice of the reports and is investigating these leaks.
The culprit for this privacy breach appears to be a poorly implemented new feature in Edge called “creator follow” ( follow-up of creators). This feature, enabled by default, is designed to allow users to follow their favorite content creators on YouTube and other websites.
However, it seems that this function sends URLs to Bing even when it is not intended, so that almost all domains visited are sent to bingapis.com. Combined with the Bing search engine, this application provides a variety of search services, including web search products, videos, images, and maps; according to a short search.
Investigating this significant privacy breach
Microsoft has a main filter for this creator tracking feature, which prevents certain domains like Pornhub from sending URLs to Bing. However, Edge continues to send unverified URLs to bingapis.com, which raises important privacy issues, especially since this feature is enabled by default.
Microsoft said it is aware of the reports and is investigating the issue. Caitlin Roulston, director of communications at Microsoft, assured that appropriate measures would be taken to resolve the problems. However, Microsoft has not yet explained why these URLs are sent to bingapis.com or how Edge has been configured to send almost all visited sites to Bing.
The Privacy window of the Edge browser, macOS version, with the three follow functions to be disabled
Function to be disabled
Meanwhile, it is recommended to disable the “follow creators” function in Microsoft Edge until the issue is resolved. Users can do this by heading to settings, choosing the Privacy, search, and services tab, and turning off the switch next to “Show suggestions for following creators in Microsoft Edge.” This is a precautionary measure to protect user privacy until Microsoft has completed its investigation and resolved the issue.
Uncheck Tracking Features creators will ask you to restart your Edge browser