Vivaldi browser and privacy

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 30, 2018
Updated • Jan 30, 2018
Internet, Vivaldi

Vivaldi Technologies AS was accused recently of incorporating spyware in the browser. A user claimed that Vivaldi Technologies incorporated spyware in the browser because the browser connects to regularly.

Piwik is a self-hosted analytics software that companies and individuals like to install if they don't want to use third-party hosted services such as Google Analytics. The main advantage of Piwik and other self-hosted solutions is that no one but the company hosting the solution gets access to the data.

It is a fact that the Vivaldi browser transfers data to Vivaldi's self-hosted analytics server. The following paragraphs look at the data that is transferred and how the data is used by Vivaldi.

Vivaldi is open about privacy

If you read the Vivaldi Browser privacy policy, you know that the browser assigns a unique ID to the installation and sends it along with other data to a Vivaldi server in Iceland.

The "other data", is the browser version, CPU architecture, screen resolution, time since last message and the first three octets of the IP address.

When you install Vivaldi browser (“Vivaldi”), each installation profile is assigned a unique user ID that is stored on your computer. Vivaldi will send a message using HTTPS directly to our servers located in Iceland every 24 hours containing this ID, version, cpu architecture, screen resolution and time since last message.

The company uses the data in the following manner:

  • Unique ID: Only used to get an approximate count of users.
  • IP address: Vivalid uses the three octets to get an approximate location using a local geoip solution. The company uses the data to "determine the total number of active users and their geographical distribution". Vivaldi turned off logging on so that it does not store IP addresses of users connecting to the server.
  • Browser version: Used to make sure that part of the userbase is not left behind due to update issues.
  • Screen resolution and CPU architecture: Vivaldi uses the information to set up test systems to test the browser on.

The data is sent over an encrypted HTTPS connection.

To sum it up: Vivaldi Technologies does not collect a lot of data and the data that it collects is used to improve the browser or get general statistics about the browser's userbase. The company reveals the data that it collects and what it uses the data for in the second paragraph of the privacy policy.

Closing Words

Privacy conscious Vivaldi users may object to the generating of a unique ID and the lack of an opt-out option the most. This is understandable as companies used IDs in the past to track users.

Vivaldi promises to use the ID only for counting the overall number of users. The company could use different means for that, for instance, the number of devices requesting an update plus an estimate of the number of devices without automatic updates turned on.

It is easy enough to delete the ID though and it is different anyway if you use Vivaldi on multiple devices.

Now You: What's your take on this?

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Vivaldi Technologies AS was accused recently of incorporating spyware in the browser. A user claimed that Vivaldi Technologies incorporated spyware in the browser because the browser connects to regularly.
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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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