Mozilla and Google remove WOT extension from Store

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 5, 2016

The popular browser extension Web of Trust is no longer available on the Firefox add-on repository or the Google Chrome Web Store.

Mozilla and Google have pulled the extension from their stores after a report aired on German national television that the company was selling the browsing history of its users.

The browser extension, designed to inform users about security or privacy issues on sites they visit, is currently not available for download.

Users who try to open the add-on site on Mozilla's Firefox add-ons site get a "we're sorry, but we can't find what you're looking for" error message currently.

wot add-on

Google's Chrome Web Store merely states that "the requested URL was not found on this server".

google wot

Information is scarce at this point as both Mozilla and Google have not openly released information about the removal.

The German newspaper FAZ managed to get a statement from Mozilla about the removal. According to the statement, Web of Trust was pulled because it violated add-on guidelines, and specifically transparency in regards to the add-on's collection of user data.

According to Web of Trust, which Faz got a statement from as well, this was caused by the company's latest privacy policy published on the company website not being made available on the Firefox add-on site.

If you check out the privacy policy on the Web of Trust website, you will notice that it collects the following information: IP address, geographic location, type of device, operating system and browser, date and time, browsing usage including visited web pages, clickstream date or web address accessed, browser identifier and user ID.

Users who have Web of Trust installed in the browser won't be affected by the pulling of the add-on.

According to research posted on Bugzilla@Mozilla, the tracking that is been discussed in German media has been added to the extension back in 2015.

So what is going to happen now?

The most likely cause of action is the following one. Web of Trust updates the privacy policy on the store pages of the add-on to better highlight the data collecting of the add-on. Mozilla and Google will then re-enable the extension on their Stores so that users can download and install it again.

It is unclear right now whether WOT is asked to modify code of its extension in regards to user tracking, or if the simple highlighting of the fact that the add-on collects user data is enough for restoration.

Now You: What's your take on the whole situation?

Mozilla and Google remove WOT extension from Store
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Mozilla and Google remove WOT extension from Store
The popular browser extension Web of Trust is no longer available on the Firefox add-on repository or the Google Chrome Web Store.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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