Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Web of Trust breaks users' trust by selling their private data

We all know the risks of using online services, but it's even more annoying when a service promising to add a layer of trust to the web breaks that trust by selling user's data..

The Web of Trust is a browser add-on (available for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera) that adds a "trust-level" badge to the sites you visit, based on the reports from (supposedly) 140 million users. The idea is that when you visit a site for the first time, you may get a better sense if it's trustworthy or not.

All good and dandy, if not for the fact that Web of Trust is selling it's users browsing history and habits to 3rd parties. And although they (now) claim they only do it after anonymizing the data, journalist have shown you can easily tie those records to single people, as well as access sensitive data such as financial records, ongoing investigations, and even figure out a judge's sexual preferences.

Web of Trust is now in damage-control mode, claiming to have removed the add-on till they do a more thorough analysis and ensure they clean up their data before selling it; but the thing is, all those "millions" of users using the add-on are still at risk. So... if your're one such user and believe that trust to have been broken, you better uninstall that add-on.

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