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Dubious but willing to give it a shot.

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RORWessels
Occasional Contributor

I just loaded the latest Canary build for the "new" Edge browser.  However, I do have some questions.  What is MSFT doing to ensure that my browsing data is not being sent back to Google as I use this "Chromium" based browser?  Is there deep level code review that is ensureing that no phone home code is being slipped in by Google into the core of Chromium?

 

Also, when will things like the dark theme and support for DAG be added to this "new" version of Edge?

15 Replies
This is an important question that I'll second.

@RORWessels its pretty impossible nowadays to avoid google with a chromeium based browser but its most likely possible since its open source, MS could remove as much as they can. If you really want to take your privacy seriously i would recommend looking into setting up a Pi-hole on your network to block telemtery, malware, and ads. just make sure you whitelist important urls you need.

I am too in the hopes of getting a dark theme for this browser. Didn't find any mention of it in the configs.

@athosbr99  I should have mentioned this in my reply before. Dark theme is available in the flags, and is mentioned elsewhere as coming in the future. I'll also note that I turned it on in my flags and switching between light and dark theme in Windows settings (in 19h1 insider) actually changes the browser too. Which is cool and good forward thinking with that.

@rsfarris thanks! now it looks good :)

Annotation 2019-04-08 192230.png

@RORWessels 

There is indeed phone home code in base chromium.

Many of the advanced toggles in about:settings phone home to google, and I would not be surprised at all if there is even deeper telemetry stuff hiding.

However, some people have been able to completely rid chromium of google, and I highly doubt microsoft's finest would not be able to undo google's tracking.What I really want is for this new edge to be packaged as UWP, and have all the nice integration, themes, bells/whistles that come along with it. Dark theme and the acrylic styling (and the performance improvements) being among them

 

@RORWessels I concur with the dark theme.

@RORWessels I ask this honestly; how can you be worried about your information going to Google but not Microsoft? What is the difference? Microsoft's telemetry collection is easily as extensive as Google's, and they use it for exactly the same thing: building a profile of you for service provision, and advertisement delivery.

@vovchyk for me, it's not the scope of data it's the depth and how they handle advertisement. Google is a bit too intimate for my tastes harvesting and storing vast quantities of the minutiae of my life. Looking at the data Google collected on me while I used Android and comparing it with the data Microsoft has on me, though I've used many more Microsoft services and hardware for far longer, there is a pretty significant difference in amount and depth. Another issue with that, and this pertains to advertisements too, is that Microsoft has always, in my experience, been much more transparent about what they're doing but Google obfuscated (though this has recently changed, too little too late for me) how, what, and how much purposefully. Which honestly, was probably unnecessary to hide, but it made me lose any trust with them. And when it comes to advertising, I don't care as long as I can turn targeted ads off, which was historically easier to do with Microsoft than Google, but that has also recently changed. No one should be making money off my body, what it likes and where it goes. If anyone were to make money off it, it should be me. Anything else is digital human trafficking, though I realize I'm probably alone on that front.

@vovchyk I do not trust Google at all.  For one, their stance when they where saying do no evil when they where doing just that.  Their stances politically.  Thier advocacy that makes them basically a propaganda wing of one of the political parties in the USA.  Their idea that they are somehow better then others when they are not.  Their hiding of the fact that the only real product they have is you.

 

No, I will trust MSFT far sooner then I will trust Google or any of their products.  At least I know that MSFT is a company that is and always has been a company that does not hide the fact that it is out to make money.  At least I can trust that.

 

Google and their attempts to control speach and the dissemination of information.  Thier data collection efforts that now make them the largest intelligence agency in the world.  And their gall to then use the phrase "do no evil".

 

No thank you.

@vovchyk to me its that microsoft gives you options during the install and now lets you know that its happening instead of hiding it, in the lastest versions of windows you can disable presonalized ad tracking ID's duing the inital install and afterwards in the Settings app under privacy and even choose how much data you send to them for diagnostics, though there is no option for sending nothing which I wish they would add to calm the more parinoid individuals.

@RORWessels I don't disagree with you in principle and I'm not a Google defender per se.  I just don't think that there's as wide an amount of difference between the two as one might think.  Microsoft, I believe as an entity that targets the corporate world, tends to shy away from some of the hot-button issues that Google is unafraid to embrace.  However, if it came down to it, MS will end up siding with Google in the areas that you mention.

 

I use Google services not because I like Google.  It's because there is nobody who ties together such a wide range of useful services (top notch and unlimited photo management, cheap storage space, calendar, email, maps, music, etc) in a 100% integrated, 100% platform-independent way.

 

I don't like that they are the only company to do this correctly.  Microsoft is the only company that has the heft to truly challenge them, but instead Microsoft has been turning more and more away from consumers, and more exclusively toward business enterprises.  I hope Microsoft could provide that alternative ecosystem, but I am not convinced they think it's profitable to take on Google in those areas.

@athosbr99

edge://flags/#edge-follow-os-theme


@athosbr99 wrote:

I am too in the hopes of getting a dark theme for this browser. Didn't find any mention of it in the configs.



edge://flags/#edge-follow-os-theme

 

Solution
Howdy, I work on the "No Exhaust" team at Edge.

To your question: The Edge team has audited all of the Chromium code for outbound network traffic and replaced calls to Google with Microsoft services, or removed the calls entirely. The Chromium code is amenable to such inspection because there are "Network Annotations" made for their network calls (so that IT admins, regulators, etc, can understand why network requests are being made and what is done with the data). My team has a variety of tools that we use for ongoing monitoring of changes going into Chromium that result in new network traffic.

Now, that's not to say your traffic *can't* go to Google depending on how you use your browser, of course. For instance, if you navigate to a Google site or property, your browser obviously will communicate with Google. If you configure your default search engine to be Google, your queries will go to Google. More subtley, if you enable Edge to use the Google Web Store for browser extensions, when your browser checks for updates to those extensions, it will do so by consulting with the Google web store.
I am curious about this too
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