Dolphin Admits to Massive Privacy Hole in Dolphin Browser HD


One of the main features of the Dolphin HD alternative browser is its Webzine mode, which presents websites in a format optimized for casual browsing on a mobile device. Recent analysis of information transmitted during browsing sessions has revealed that Webzine may be a privacy liability, sharing details of your session with Dolphin. The company has now responded to the issue; what went wrong, and how has it been fixed?

As it turns out, the browser has been passing along the URL for every single page you’ve visited to one of Dolphin’s servers. The company has explained that this was so the browser could check to see if a Webzine-optimized version of the content was available, and that users’ URL information was never stored. While that explanation makes sense, it paints Dolphin in a seriously troubling light, suggesting it has very little concern for its users’ privacy; it’s really hard to imagine a company thinking this sort of action either wouldn’t be noticed or would be readily tolerated.

What’s worse is how huge a bandwidth waste this is. Dolphin supports Webzine with something like 300 sites. That means it’s been checking the entire contents of the internet against this short list to see if a Webzine version of a site was available. First work-around that comes to our head: since it’s such an extremely short list, have the browser request the entire thing at the beginning of a browsing session, updating it once a week or so, and store it locally.

Dolphin claims it has now disabled the feature in Dolphin Browser HD 7.0.2, and future versions will be opt-in only.

Source: Dolphin

Via: Android Central

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck

Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen’s first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he’s convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he’s not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits

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