Microsoft Edge gets your Firefox data without permission?

Don Sharpe
by Don Sharpe
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  • Microsoft Edge users complained that, during setup, the browser accessed their Firefox browsing data without first asking.
  • Microsoft says it respects users' rights to browser data.
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Edge browser data privacy issue
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Microsoft Edge sometimes behaves like a coin with two sides. While it recently received a whole bunch of nice features that would make any browser user happy, it also tends to ruffle feathers in certain situations.

Consider the latest user backlash that Edge attracted based on how it handles importing rival browser data. Just the other day, some users complained that Microsoft was too aggressive with its Edge promos in Windows.

Microsoft Edge data importing controversy

Over the past few days, a good number of Microsoft Edge users gathered on Reddit to express their frustration with how the browser imports data from Chrome or Firefox during setup. Many claimed that the Chromium-based browser first accessed their browsing data before asking for permission to import it.

One user laments:

Are we going to get treated to spam popups advertising Edge and having it duplicate our data from Firefox without asking every time Microsoft decides to update it from now on?

Another added:

I just installed Edge today for testing, and I noticed my bookmarks from Firefox appear in the background/browser BEHIND the import acceptance dialog. The bookmarks disappeared after I said I didn’t want it to import anything. Obviously it still went looking before asking!

Based on these comments, it appears that Edge doesn’t end up importing your browsing data without your permission. But at least it looks for and finds the data before offering you the option to discard it, which raises valid user privacy concerns.

The folks at Windows Central contacted Microsoft about this issue. The company replied that it acknowledges customers’ rights to their browsing data. It added that Edge, just like other browsers, gives users the option to import data during setup.

In short, Microsoft doesn’t deny that Edge accesses your Firefox or Chrome browsing data before offering you the opportunity to import or discard it.

Do you think Microsoft Edge’s approach to importing browser data constitutes a breach of user privacy? Feel free to express your views in the comments section below.