Microsoft Suspected of Siphoning Google Chrome Data, Expert Reveals Reasons

Microsoft Edge, Microsoft’s browser alias browser, is reported to be taking data from Google Chrome users without permission.
Tom Warren, a senior editor and IT expert, complains that data and tabs he opens in Google Chrome are “taken” by Microsoft Edge. He admits to using Google Chrome as his default browser, while Microsoft Edge is only used occasionally.

“With blurry eyes at 9 in the morning, it took me a moment to realize that Microsoft Edge had just taken over what I left in Chrome,” Warren said in his article on The Verge.

He claims to have never imported data into Microsoft Edge and did not confirm whether he wanted to import tabs.

Warren investigates by checking the settings in Microsoft Edge that always import data from Google Chrome every time it is accessed.

The setting “Always have access to your recent browsing data each time you browse on Microsoft Edge” is turned off.

He then tried to install a Windows update but failed and had to perform a system recovery. When it was completed, Edge automatically opened with all the tabs open in Chrome.

Warren requested a response from Microsoft but as of the time of publication, they had not responded.

However, his tweet on X garnered responses from various parties including Zach Edwards, a privacy researcher and data supply chain expert.

“He has found a new prompt in the settings that reads: With your confirmation, Microsoft Edge will regularly import data from other available browsers on your Windows device. This data includes your favorites, browsing history, cookies, autofill data, extensions, settings, and other browsing data,” Warren said.

From here, Microsoft mentions that data import is completed locally and stored locally. However, data will be sent to Microsoft if users sign in and synchronize browsing data.

However, users are only presented with a large blue button that encourages them to enable the feature. If they disagree, there is only a darker “Not Now” button.

According to Warren, consumers do not always clearly understand what they are changing.

“Microsoft has a history of using tactics we’ve seen from bloatware and spyware developers to promote its web browser.”

Meanwhile, Warren finds himself not alone in experiencing this. Some Windows users have reported for months, then switched to Reddit and Microsoft support forums for help.

Microsoft Edge is actually good, so I hope the team building it doesn’t use more tricks to make Chrome users use it,” Warren said.