Amazon is telling shoppers to uninstall Honey, a startup PayPal recently bought for $4 billion; poses security risks
Back in November, we wrote about Honey, a browser extension startup PayPal bought for $4 billion. Now, according to a tweet from Ryan Hutchins, a New Jersey bureau chief for POLITICO, Honey browser extension will be “one extensive piece of Malware” anyone would buy for $4 billion.
Apparently during the height of the holiday shopping season, the e-commerce giant Amazon warned some users that the browser extension could be a “security issue.” PayPal was once a part of eBay, an Amazon competitor. Amazon does not accept PayPal as an option in check-out. Amazon also has a competing discount plug-in.
“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,” the message, which was posted on Twitter by multiple users, said. “To keep your data private and secure, uninstall this extension immediately.”
PayPal paid $4 billion for the start-up, which has worked with Amazon since it was founded in 2012. This appears to be Amazon’s first public warning about Honey’s security concerns. PayPal was once a part of Amazon competitor eBay, and Amazon does not accept PayPal as an option in check-out. Amazon also has a competing discount plug-in.
Ryan Hutchins, a New Jersey bureau chief for POLITICO, also tweeted the following: “Amazon is telling shoppers that the browser extension Honey — it gives you coupon codes and other ways to save — is malware. Paypal bought Honey in November for $4 billion. That’s one extensive piece of Malware.”
Amazon is telling shoppers that the browser extension Honey — it gives you coupon codes and other ways to save — is malware.
Paypal bought Honey in November for $4 billion. That’s one extensive piece of Malware. pic.twitter.com/Di6I8RAX2X
— Ryan Hutchins (@ryanhutchins) December 20, 2019
However, Honey’s spokesperson said the extension “is not — and has never been — a security risk and is safe to use.” The spokesperson added: “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.”
Honey was founded in 2012 by George Ruan and Ryan Hudson. Honey is a browser extension and discovery tool for consumers to find savings as they shop online. Its suite of products and services include a mobile shopping assistant, offers and rewards program, and price-tracking tools and alerts. Honey’s free browser extension automatically finds and applies coupons at checkout, it also helps users save money on Amazon by showing price history, best price detection and a product called Droplist that watches select products and sends notifications when it drops below a selected price.