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Mozilla pulls four Firefox add-ons over excessive data collection

Browser security extensions aren’t automatically safer — they might even make things worse. Mozilla has pulled Avast’s Online Security and SafePrice extensions for Firefox, plus their AVG-branded equivalents, after AdBlock Plus creator Wladimir Palant found they were collecting much more data than necessary. This included a detailed web history that went well beyond site addresses and search history, including when and how long you visit a site, what you click, the number of open tabs and even when you switch to another tab. Mozilla’s policies explicitly forbid this kind of fine-grained collection.

Palant first wrote about the overreach on October 28th, but it wasn’t until he reported the problems to Mozilla on December 2nd that the developer took action. It pulled all four extensions within 24 hours. Opera also pulled the corresponding extensions on its store within about 16 hours of receiving notice….

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