Firefox’s Phishing Protection Raises Privacy Concerns

Firefox's latest version 2 is suspected of having a malady that might lead to compromising user's privacy. Its anti-phishing system is the subject of widespread speculations that it might actually end up reveling records of sites visited by the user to those tracking anti-phishing sites.

Phishing attacks are a means of swindling vital financial information of users when they visit reputed looking yet fraud sites. phishing authors usually feign sites like Amazon.com, paypal and others. They not only siphon users data with the help of fake web pages but also flood inboxes with junk e-mails that requests your personal information.

Ironically, the anti-phishing feature was designed to shield Web surfers from phishing attacks. However, when a user employs Firefox a cookie that tracks the users behavior data and makes it available freely to Google. This information may then be used for commercial purposes.

Even though the feature exclusively has an "opt-in", this is grossly unacceptable to users as they feel there's no logic why should user's data be made available to a multinational firm for a phishing protection tie-up. The trade off between Firefox and Google raises privacy concerns.

Google is presently the sole active partner, even though the system is enabled to work withy possibly any anti-phishing service. In fact the technology for Firefox's new anti-phishing feature was actually developed by Google. Features from Google's 'Safe Browsing' option have been added to Firefox's latest version.

The opt-in makes sure that user's behavioral data is made available to phishing services only with permission. However, the fact is that the option is actually buried in certain terms or conditions, which most users do not bother to read carefully unless and until they are consciously aware of phishing attacks.

Online privacy concerns are simply too overwhelming and udders hardly have a say in determining how personal information may be processed or collected. Google's new collaboration with Mozilla is viewed as million-dollar corporation compromising user privacy for profits.

Related article: Firefox Gets Vulnerable With JavaScript

» SPAMfighter News - 30-10-2006

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