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Microsoft Edge Doesn’t Wait for Permission to Import Your Data

The Microsoft Edge logo floating over a lake.

Most browsers offer to import your data from other browsers when you first install them. That’s pretty handy when you’re making the switch from Firefox to Chrome, for example. But it appears Microsoft’s Edge browser is a little too proactive—it imports your data from Chrome and Firefox before asking your permission.

As spotted by Windows Central, the problem first came to light through a since-deleted Reddit post. Though the text of the original post is gone, many comments confirmed the behavior of Edge.
When you open Edge for the first time, it immediately imports your data from Firefox and Chrome.

And then, it asks your permission to import the data. If you say yes, everything is all set up. If you say no, it should delete the data it brought over.

That all takes place during the “first-run experience,” which leads to a problem. It’s easy to quit out of the first-run experience” and tempting to do because Edge is so close to Chrome it may feel unnecessary to get the introduction.

But if you skip that introduction, it bypasses the choice to import data, which means Edge may not get the chance to delete your data if you didn’t want to import it.

In a statement to Windows Central, Microsoft admitted as much:

During the first run experience, the customer is presented the opportunity to keep or discard the imported data. This data is discarded if they choose not to proceed with the import. If a customer terminates the new Microsoft Edge browser prematurely during the first run experience (e.g. using Task Manager), residual data may not be fully deleted. We recommend customers not shut down the setup process prematurely to ensure an expected result.

You might be wondering if Micrsoft plans to change course and wait until you ask to move your data over before copying it. That doesn’t seem to be the case, as it explained to Windows Central:

We believe browser data belongs to the customer and they have the right to decide what they should do with it. Like other browsers, Microsoft Edge offers people the opportunity to import data during setup.

Browser preferences and data may seem innocuous, but it’s still an odd choice to ask for forgiveness rather than permission, especially when it concerns touching user data.

via Windows Central

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and is responsible for the site's content direction. He has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smart home enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »