Web browser extension, Web of Trust (WOT), cannot be trusted, as the add-on sells user data.
More About WOT
Browser add-ons are used by many for various purposes. The WOT add-on helps people make informed decisions regarding websites they are visiting.
What Went Wrong With WOT?
German television channel NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk) conducted an investigation and found a number of privacy breaches by WOT. NDR suggests that their investigation found that WOT was collecting browsing history of its users and then selling them to a third party for money.
Reports suggest that NDR was able to get personal data of customers using WOT, including email addresses, usernames, sexual orientation, illnesses and more.
Following the data breach, many users are said to have uninstalled the add-on from their browser.
What Does WOT Has To Say?
WOT has acknowledged that the add-on has compromised customer information.
"We take our obligations to you very seriously. While we deployed great effort to remove any data that could be used to identify individual users, it appears that in some cases such identification remained possible, albeit for what may be a very small number of WOT users," says a WOT statement. "Of course, if the data allows the identification of even a small number of WOT users, we consider that unacceptable."
WOT also added that the company is taking action to address the matter urgently as part of the company's full security review and assessment.
The extension is also offering an opt-out facility that will allow users to opt-out from saving data on WOT's servers. The opt-out feature is available from settings of the extension.
WOT says that in the coming weeks, it will focus on implementing changes to the extension to ensure that the service is back on track at the earliest.
The latest investigation from NDR has opened the eyes of millions of people who use services such as WOT. The NDR report has adversely affected WOT, and it is likely that more people will get rid of the add-on from their web browsers.