Microsoft Edge submits nearly any visited page to Bing. Here is how you turn that off!
Microsoft's Edge web browser is submitting nearly any visited webpage to Bing automatically. The privacy issue was detected last week and reported on Reddit, and users have been scrambling ever since to find out why the browser is doing that.
According to the information posted, Microsoft Edge is contacting the domain bingapis.com for nearly every webpage that is visited in the web browser.
The user who discovered the privacy issue created a second thread in which they provided additional details on the issue. According to the information posted there, the sending is caused by a new feature of Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft Edge 112.0.1722.34 include an updated feature, Show suggestions to follow creators in Microsoft Edge, which is turned on by default. The feature is not new, but it was limited to a handful of sites, such as YouTube, in previous versions of Edge.
Microsoft appears to have unlocked the feature so that it is not limited to just a few sites anymore. Whenever a website is visited, Microsoft Edge is submitting the full URL of the page to the Bingapis domain. While it does not appear to be possible to follow other sites, apart from the few that Edge supported already, it still appears that Edge is sending all URLs to Bing.
The Verge asked Rafael Rivera, a software engineer, to investigate the issue, and Rivera came to the same conclusion. The change is caused by the Follow Creator feature of Microsoft Edge.
The Follow feature works like a basic RSS reader in Edge. When enabled, Edge displays a follow option in its address bar on supported sites. A click on it follows the creator of the page, e.g., a YouTube channel, and Edge notifies the user from that moment on whenever new content is posted.
Tip: did you know that you can subscribe to YouTube channels using RSS?
Microsoft Edge users who do not use the Follow Creator feature may want to turn it off to block the sending of page information to Microsoft.
Since it is turned on by default, it affects all users of the web browser.
- Open the Microsoft Edge Privacy Settings, either by loading edge://settings/privacy in the address bar or by selecting Menu > Settings > Privacy, search and services.
- Scroll down to the Services section on the page.
- Toggle "Get notified when creators you follow post new content" to off.
- Toggle "Show suggestions to follow creators in Microsoft Edge" to off.
- Restart Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft Edge won't submit visited pages to Bingapis anymore. Microsoft told The Verge that it is investigating this.
Nearly every URL that is visited in Microsoft Edge is submitted to a Microsoft domain in up to date versions of Microsoft Edge. It is a huge privacy issue, considering that Edge submits the full URL, including any data that it contains, and that it reveals almost the entire browsing of each user to Microsoft.
Now You: Do you use Microsoft Edge?