In association with heise online

29 January 2010, 14:01

Privacy issue in Google Toolbar fixed

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • submit to slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • submit to reddit

Google has updated the Internet Explorer version of Google Toolbar to fix a potential privacy issue. In certain circumstances, the Toolbar forwarded information on sites visited, to Google, even if a user had opted out. The problem only arose if the extended "SideWiki" and "PageRanks" features, which legitimately transfer data to Google, were enabled during installation.

Ben Edelman, assistant professor at the Harvard Business School, discovered in tests of the pre-update version that the Toolbar continued to transmit data even after a user had disabled these features in a new Explorer window. The Toolbar wasn't even switched off after being disabled via the add-ons menu – in versions 6.3.911.1819 to 6.4.1311.42 for Internet Explorer, it appears it was only disabled once the browser had been restarted. In the new version it can now be disabled without having to restart the browser.

The version for Firefox is not affected; when tested by The H's associates in Germany, heise Security, it was possible to disable the Toolbar via Firefox's add-on menu – without a browser restart.


Print Version | Send by email | Permalink:

  • July's Community Calendar

The H Open

The H Security

The H Developer

The H Internet Toolkit