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Marsss
Occasional Visitor

Dear Edge Insiders, I would like to ask a few questions regarding privacy and security specific to our new Edge browser.

 

In this day and age of time where data is the new "oil" and that data is used in so many ways;

 

1.) How does the new Microsoft Edge (chromium based) value, preserve and protect users' personal data in general?

2.) What are the unique features that comes built in the browser that helps protect and/or improves security and privacy for users?

3.) How does Edge compare to Google Chrome, the most data hogging browser of all that I believe there is?

4.) How does Edge compare to Firefox, especially now that Firefox seems to be focusing more and more on user privacy aside from speed. Firefox recently partnered with ExpressVpn, a well known reputable VPN service that firmly enforces privacy protection for its users. Firefox also has integrated a built in phishing and malware protection with its browser

4a.) Are we getting integrations for VPNs directly to our browsers in the near future? Built in malware protection maybe?

5.) Lastly, can we expect more privacy and security features in the future? Please brief some of these.

4 Replies

@pwaggs 

Here's 2 cents worth, maybe... @ least a penny's worth: 

I have never been a fan of google anything and obviously, that includes Chrome.  I am not trying to come to the defense of anything, either. This is my understanding, be right or wrong 🤷‍:male_sign:. This (new) browser is being built on a Chromium-based platform. At the onset it was clarified, that did not mean it was Chrome.  Supposedly, it can be built on an open-source chromium-based platform and not have the negative aspects of Chrome & google.  And, if we weren't in denial, it's probably a wee bit hard for some of us to swallow.  For myself, just trying to be of good-faith & try to accept the advertised notion that all will be safe & secure, as claimed.  The basic implication has been, "trust we can go chromium-based AND End Users not fret". I'm trying to believe.  But, Edge is big on security and MS is big on security and privacy issues, so, theoretically ... those concerns are paramount these days, they must be top priority.

Anyway, the caveat is Chromium-based platform does not equal Chrome, as I understand it.  And that is supposed to explain why Edge C will only have (the) good aspects :crossed_fingers: Tough after so many years not to recoil over being associated w/ things for which, you haven't, ever, been enthusiastic nor recommended.

But, besides the skeptics, the thing, already, is receiving heaps of excited, impressed response.  And, enterprise will like the IE Mode.  The look & feel grows on you and the performance is good.  It's early & it's going to be our browser (W10's default) so, we'll try to have it well built, done right. Thus, we could live w/ it and be confident & relaxed. :crossed_fingers:

Seems I talk better than I type.  Hope this ⬆ isn't too hard to decipher :\

Cheers,
Drew
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@Marsss 

Disclosures: (1) In my opinion, Google is a data-mining operation, nothing more and nothing less, and I avoid contact with Google and its platforms and services as much as possible. Accordlingly, I do not install Google Chrome, or use the Google search engine, GMail or Google Earth, on my Windows or Linux computers, nor do I use any of those platforms/services on my Android devices. I use EdgeHTML frequently, but my primary browser is Firefox because Firefox is available on Windows, Linux and Android (Edge HTML is not available on Linux), has solid built-in privacy/security features/functions, because Mozilla does not resell browser/user data, and because Firefox offers a level of user-control over browser features/functions that is unavailable in EdgeHTML browsers. I do not use third-party extensions on either EdgeHTML or Firefox. I am testing Edge Chromium with a wary eye but open mind, but will not use Edge Chromium going forward unless I am convinced that Edge Chromium has resolved a number of security issues that I've discussed in other threads. My hope (and belief) is that Microsoft will resolve those issues because enterprise customers will demand the level of security that I think essential, but that is not a done deal at this point.

 

With that said, I think that it is important to note that your questions deal with issues that are related but distinct. Google Chrome, as a browser, is closely tied to the Google ecosystem, but Google Chrome is not a primary source of information for the Google data-mining operation. Gmail, the Google search engine, Google Earth/Maps, YouTube, Google Docs/Drive and other browser-independent Google-linked platforms/services are the primary sources of information for Google's data-mining operations, and those platforms/services operate unimpeded whether or not launched from Google Chrome.

 

Now to your questions: The jury is still out on most of your concerns (as is the case with my concerns), but I expect to see technical documents emerge on those issues in response to the concerns of Microsoft's enterprise customers.

 

But, keeping in mind that Edge Chromium is a work in progress and at an early stage of development, here are my thoughts on a few of your questions:

 

3.) How does Edge compare to Google Chrome, the most data hogging browser of all that I believe there is?

 

Chromium (the open-source platform on which Google Chrome and Edge Chromium are based), is closely tied into the Google ecosystem, and that is one of the reasons that Linux users have increasingly turned to Firefox (about 80% to 20%) as the preferred browser. Microsoft has removed/replaced many/most (about 50 by my count) of the services that tie Chromium into the Google ecosytem.

 

Edge-Chromium-Removed.jpg

 

However, "replaced" may be the oprerative term in this case, because Microsoft (as should be expected given the importance of Microsoft's enterprise user base) seems to be closely tying Edge Chromium to the Microsoft ecosystem, and it is not clear yet whether and to what extent users will have control over attaching/detaching from Microsoft's ecosytem when setting up the browser.

 

It is also worth noting, I think, that a number of the basic security/privacy flaws (e.g. lack of a "delete user data on exit" option) in Google Chrome currently exist in Edge Chromium, and we have been given no definitive answer about whether those basic security/privacy flaws will be corrected before release.

 

4.) How does Edge compare to Firefox, especially now that Firefox seems to be focusing more and more on user privacy aside from speed?

 

Firefox is generally considered to stand head and shoulders above other browsers in terms of privacy protection, security and user control over features/functions, although EdgeHTML is reasonably solid in that regard, particularly in terms of security (EdgeHTML is tied into Windows Defender and offers a degree of malware protection). Google Chrome is somewhere between horrible and dreadful on all counts. It isn't clear yet where Edge Chromium will land on that spectrum. I suspect (again because of enterprise customers) that Microsoft will take care to insure that Edge Chromium is as closely linked into Windows security protections at all levels as EdgeHTML, but the jury is still out.

 

5.) Lastly, can we expect more privacy and security features in the future? Please brief some of these.

 

I hope so, but this is a question that we will have to look to Microsoft's security/privacy documentation to find out, as that documentation emerges in the future.  I'm glad you raised the questions, and I will be curious to see how the Edge Team responds.

@tomscharbach 

Tom, I've already said I've never been interested in google anything, but, I sure am interested in security/privacy. It made me uneasy, too, at the onset with Edge C when it sounded like I was hearing the word chrome. But, yes, we are supposed to be at ease because MS is putting in good & leaving out the bad. I do agree with the gist of what you express. MS sure as hell cannot afford to have weaknesses or flaws in this in terms of protection. As I understand it no triangle exists... There's MS & Edge to a Chromium-based platform. There is goole & chrome. But, no MS & Edge to google/chrome.  That it can be Chromium-based without 'being' chrome (google).

And we should remember: ultimately, it will be running on Win10, same as EdgeHTML, now, ergo, still, benefiting from Windows Security; it IS, indeed, a Microsoft product... I suggest (1) we are naturally nervous & paranoid (2) we may jump to notion they using someone else's stuff... we may not grab tightly enough to the "open-source" part which, is Chromium. (Again, Chromium & chrome are not one-in-the-same) Chromium is 'common ground', meaning MS can build their product on it and someone else can build their different product on it, as well.  But, it has to keep its MS identity and trust and allegedly, Chromium-based allows for that. :crossed_fingers:  There IS trust in Windows, certainly, in Windows 10 & actually, in EdgeHTML, as well.  This includes things like Azure, Office365, Skype, Volume Licenses, OS & Server software, Cloud Services and other MS Products on which, the Globe functions.  The one thing that helps pacify me is logic... there is no way MS can give customers a browser that they are going to be scared to use, End Users MUST be able to be confident, MUST have peace of mind.  There is no way MS could risk not having happy customers in the Global sense.  Surely, they wouldn't give customers something smelling of google (& chrome).  Many who use & are, actual, supporters of Windows 10 & Edge would be , really, turned off & peeved off were that to happen.  It MUST, still, have the trust, security & privacy of Windows 10 & EdgeHTML.

Cheers,
Drew
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