If you are a user of popular UC Browser, you are prone for some data leaks. A Canadian technology research group found that that the popular mobile web browser – owned by the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd – had flaws.
The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs examined the UC Browser and found that it was sending user data unencrypted or it did not have enough encryption. Personal data such as phone numbers and device serial numbers were leaked along with the addition to user search queries and geolocation data.
The transmission of this information “represents a privacy risk for users because it allows anyone with access to the data traffic to identify users and their devices, and collect their private search data”, Citizen Lab said in a report. Spokesperson with UC Web did not comment on the issue and neither did the Alibaba Group.
According to Citizen Lab, UC Browser had more than 500 million registered users and was the most popular mobile web browser in China and India. The group also said that the Chinese version more susceptible and that by installing and opening that version users were exposed to “a significant number” of personal identifiers and location information to third parties.
“By leaking a large volume of fine-grained data points to multiple network operators, the UC Browser app is increasing the risks to its users that such data may be used against them by authorities, criminals, or other third parties,” Citizen Lab said, reports Reuters. Alibaba acquired UCWeb in June last year. The merger was termed as the biggest in Chinese internet history.