It was recently discovered that Trend Micro’s collection of apps have been uploading your browser history to their servers, including from before you installed the app.
It was initially believed the privacy violation only affected Apple Mac users, but now it appears Windows users also had their browser history stolen.
In a blog post which initially claimed Windows users were unaffected, Trend Micro claimed they uploaded your browser history to their secure servers to detect if you were at risk of recent infection, writing:
Trend Micro has completed an initial investigation of a privacy concern related to some of its MacOS consumer products. The results confirm that Dr Cleaner, Dr Cleaner Pro, Dr. Antivirus, Dr. Unarchiver, Dr. Battery, and Duplicate Finder collected and uploaded a small snapshot of the browser history on a one-time basis, covering the 24 hours prior to installation. This was a one-time data collection, done for security purposes (to analyze whether a user had recently encountered adware or other threats, and thus to improve the product & service).
Trend Micro claimed users had consented to as much in the EULA, but that they would nevertheless cease the practice, saying:
Trend Micro is taking customer concerns seriously and has decided to remove this browser history collection capability from the products at issue.
Whatever Trend Micro’s justification, I believe users should always know when their personal data is leaving the PC and have explicit control over whether it should be allowed or not. Trend Micro breached that trust, and will hopefully suffer long-term consequences for that action.
What do our readers think? Let us know below.
Via Ben Fox