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The Web of Trust browser add-on not so trustworthy after all

The popular Web of Trust browser extension has just been pulled out of commission because of privacy issues. Mozilla's Firefox was the first to react, removing the add-on from its catalogue, then the company promptly took down its product from other browsers like Chrome, Safari or Opera. If you're someone who uses Web of Trust, it is recommended that you manually uninstall it from your browser at least until the matter gets resolved.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the topic, Web of Trust is a browser extension that uses crowd-sourcing to keep you safe while you're browsing the Internet by determining the trustworthiness of websites. The idea sounds pretty great, but recent reports indicated that the add-on didn't protect the privacy of its users, selling their browsing data without anonymizing it appropriately. Information like email addresses and real names were left in the collected data, which made it easy to accurately identify the people from whom the information was taken. Furthermore, the company didn't do a great job at informing its customers about the fact that their data is being collected either. Although the company stated that "only a few" users were affected, at the moment it is unclear how many people have had their privacy compromised or what caused this issue.

Meanwhile, if you're interested in keeping your online privacy, you might want to read "Best anonymous browsers" or "The Tor browser - a novice's guide".