According to the reports, Safari browser of Apple is sending data of the users to Chinese tech giant Tencent.
Users examined Safari’s Fraudulent Website Warning disclaimer and from their they concluded that iOS 13 and possibly other versions starting at 12.2 sends data to Tencent Safe Browsing and also to Google Safe Browsing, where it helps protect users from phishing scams.
Till now it has not been cleared whether Tencent collects information of users outside of China. But, Safari in its disclaimer informed the users that their data is not misused instead is sent to the company to protect them from visiting Fraudulent websites.
“Before visiting a website, Safari may send information calculated from the website address to Google Safe Browsing and Tencent Safe Browsing to check if the website is fraudulent. These safe browsing providers may also log your IP address.”
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It is not new that the browser data is sent to a company for preventing the users from visiting fraudulent websites and phishing scams. But some users are curious and concerned about what the tech giant Tencent will do with the data.
Both Google and Tencent can access the IP address of the users so that they can prevent the users from phishing scams. But the problem that comes is that Tencent is in touch with the Chinese government due to which the users are concerned about how their data will be used for surveillance or other nefarious purposes.
According to John Hopkins University professor Matthew Green “a malicious provider could theoretically use Google’s Safe Browsing to de-anonymize someone by linking site requests. If Tencent employs a similar method, the data it collects could be used to identify users if the Chinese government puts pressure on the company to reveal dissidents”.
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What to Do?
If you don’t want Safari to collect your data then you have to turn off its Fraudulent Website Warning feature which by default is enabled by Apple. But there is more risk of falling to fraud after this.
So, if you are more concerned about leaking of your data to Tencent then it is better to use a more privacy-focused browser.
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