Amazon, during the height of the holiday shopping season, told its customers to uninstall Honey, a browser extension that automatically searches for coupon codes at checkout, according to a report by CNBC.
“Honey tracks your private shopping behavior, collects data like your order history and items saved, and can read or change any of your data on any website you visit,” Amazon said. “To keep your data private and secure, uninstall this extension immediately.”
Amazon has its own browser extension that works similarly to Honey, called Amazon Assistant.
“Amazon Assistant helps you discover Amazon products and compare prices as you shop across the web,” the extension said on its site.
The acquisition by PayPal is the largest the company has ever done. Honey was started in 2012 and gets a commission from every sale. It has about 17 million users.
The two companies do not work closely together. PayPal used to be synonymous with eBay, which is an Amazon competitor. Also, Amazon does not accept PayPal as a payment option.
This is the first time Amazon has scrutinized Honey, and the plug-in has worked on Amazon for the last seven years.
“Our goal is to warn customers about browser extensions that collect personal shopping data without their knowledge or consent such as customer name, shipping and/or billing address and payment method from the checkout page,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
Honey said its extension “is not — and has never been — a security risk and is safe to use.”
“We only use data in ways that directly benefit Honey members — helping people save money and time — and in ways they would expect. Our commitment is clearly spelled out in our privacy and security policy,” the company said, adding it does “not sell your personal information. Ever.”