Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Microsoft Edge solves the problem of unauthorized data transfer

Microsoft announced that it has fixed a bug in its popular web browser Edge that caused data and tabs to be automatically transferred from Chrome without users’ consent. This issue manifested itself in the way that when the PC was restarted after a Windows update, Edge would automatically open with tabs open in Chrome. Although Microsoft has avoided providing a clear answer to many questions about what causes this behavior, it has quietly released a fix with the latest Edge update.

Respecting user privacy in Microsoft Edge

Edge has the ability to transfer data from other browsers with the user’s consent. However, the status of this feature was not synchronized and displayed correctly across different devices. This problem was fixed with the update released by Microsoft.

It’s not new for Microsoft to use aggressive tactics to promote its web browser. The company’s methods of forcing users to use Edge include a variety of tactics, including pinning Edge to the desktop and taskbar without permission and popping up surveys or alerts to discourage them from downloading Chrome.

Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, published a report to investigate Microsoft’s tactics and their impact on consumers. The report reveals that Microsoft uses harmful design tactics that violate its own design principles and could undermine competition against rival browsers. These tactics include subtle methods that force Windows 11 users to use Edge, and cases such as Outlook and Teams starting to open connections only through Edge, which angered IT administrators.

Some of these tactics will be addressed with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) implemented in the European Economic Area (EEA). These changes will allow Windows 11 users in EEA markets to remove Edge and allow search providers like Google to extend the main Windows Search interface with their own custom web searches. However, Microsoft will not have to make any changes to Edge, Bing, or Microsoft Advertising because it is exempt from DMA rules.

Mozilla states that Microsoft has promised to stop its actions to force Edge on users who prefer other browsers. However, these changes only address a small part of the tactics outlined in the report and unfortunately will only be implemented for EEA users. This fuels discussions about how Microsoft is influencing competition in the web browser market and whether it should do more to respect user preferences.

Danish Kapoor