A recent Reddit post by a user has revealed that Microsoft Edge browser sends every visited URL to Bing API, causing potential privacy leaks regardless of whether users have permitted Microsoft to collect data for advertising purposes. Analysis of this issue indicates that it’s due to the problematic Creator’s Focus Notifications feature in the Edge browser, which is enabled by default for every website.
Microsoft Edge is designed to receive notifications from Bing when a website is updated, but this implementation seems to compromise user privacy significantly. The API address, bingapis.com/api/v7/followweb/isfollowable?, appears to be a private Microsoft API, with technical support documentation available online.
According to a Microsoft engineer, the issue may not be intentional but rather a bug in the feature’s design:
“Microsoft Edge has the Creator’s Focus feature enabled by default, aiming to notify Bing when a user visits certain pages, such as YouTube or Reddit. However, it seems that the feature is not working as intended, sending almost all visited URLs to Bing.”
Microsoft’s PR Director has released a statement in response to the issue:
“We have received reports of the issue and are currently investigating it. We will take appropriate action to resolve the problem.”
As of now, Microsoft has not released any new statements, and it is unclear whether the issue has been resolved. It is possible that many users have unknowingly been exposing their browsing history to Bing for an extended period, raising questions about whether Microsoft has used this data for advertising analysis purposes.