PayPal-owned Browser Extension Honey Was Deemed ‘A Security Risk’ By Amazon

Shoppers on Amazon who had enabled the Chrome extension ‘Honey’ received a notification from the e-commerce website that the coupon finder was potentially a security risk. The warning was initially reported by Ryan Hutchins of POLITICO in November last year with a screenshot on Twitter.

Coincidentally, PayPal had acquired Honey Science Corporation, the company behind the coupon finding Chrome extension for roughly $4 billion. The warning was notifying shoppers that Honey utilizes their “private shopping behaviour” and data. The dubious timing of the warning pop-up and PayPal’s acquisition of Honey was even noted by Hutchins who wrote in the tweet, “That’s an extensive(sic) piece of Malware.”

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While there was no comment on the timing of it all, an Amazon spokesperson told The Verge, “Our goal is to warn customers about browser extensions that collect personal shopping data without their knowledge or consent.”

Honey is a free browser extension that surveys the internet to find coupon codes that are then automatically applied while ordering on websites such as Amazon. A shopping assistant, it even helps shoppers keep track of particular items making it easier to shop online. But it does that with the help of user data, like most other extensions, that use collected data for their own service.

A Honey spokesperson told The Wired, “We only use data in ways that directly benefit Honey members — helping people save money and time — and in ways they would expect.”

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