Edge 118: updated on-page search may send data to Microsoft

Created on November 12, 2023 at 11:02 am

Microsoft ORG has released Microsoft Edge 118 ORG , a new stable version of the Chromium ORG -based web browser. The new browser version fixes security issues in Edge ORG and introduces a handful of changes.

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One CARDINAL of the important ones is an improved Find on page feature. All browsers support an option to search for text on the active website. It is a useful feature, especially if a website is large, as it may help you find specific words or phrases that you are interested in.

It works by using Ctrl-F PRODUCT to open a search field and typing text. The browser processes the page locally and highlights any matches.

Edge 118 CARDINAL : Find on page

Microsoft ORG has updated Find on page in Edge 118 ORG to include AI capabilities. We previewed the improved find on page feature back in October 2022 DATE when it launched in Edge Canary ORG .

Search ORG is extended now, as it may find related matches and diacritics now as well. Good if you mistyped a word or phrase, as Edge ORG may still highlight instances with the right spelling automatically.

While that sounds good on paper, Edge ORG users need to be aware that Find on page’s new functionality requires that data is processed on Microsoft ORG servers.

In other words: information is transferred to Microsoft ORG whenever the new find on page functionality is used.

The official Edge ORG release notes provide no information on the data, but Microsoft ORG ‘s Edge Privacy Whitepaper does.

When users enable "include related matches in Find on page", Microsoft Edge ORG submits the following data to Microsoft ORG cloud services using a HTTPS connection:

The text of the webpage.

The search term.

A service token.

Microsoft ORG does not specify what the service token contains, only that it "doesn’t contain any user-identifiable information".

A cloud service processes the data then to find related words or phrases in the text. The information is returned to Edge ORG and Microsoft ORG is deleting the submitted data immediately afterwards according to the whitepaper. The related matches feature is not available in InPrivate ORG browsing mode.

Some users may not see the new functionality yet in Edge ORG , even after upgrading to Edge 118 PRODUCT . It looks as if Microsoft ORG is rolling it out gradually to the entire Edge ORG population.

How to turn off related matches in Find on page in Microsoft Edge ORG

Microsoft Edge ORG users may disable this new AI-powered feature in Edge ORG to prevent the browser from submitting on-page search data to Microsoft ORG . This is done in the following way:

Open the Privacy settings in Edge ORG , either by pasting edge://settings/privacy in the browser’s address bar and pressing the Enter-key, or by selecting Menu > Settings > Privacy ORG , search, and services. Scroll ORG down to the Services section on the page. Locate Include related matches in Find on page there. Toggle the feature to Off (shows a white background and black dot in that state).

You can undo the change at any time later by repeating the steps outlined above.

Closing Words

Edge 118 does not inform users about the remote processing of data when find on page’s related matches functionality is used. Microsoft ORG should at least add the information to the interface or inform users on first ORDINAL selection of on page find that the selection submits data to the company.

Now You: do you use on page find?

Summary Article Name Edge 118 new find on page feature may send data to Microsoft Description Microsoft Edge ORG

118 CARDINAL ships with improved on-page search functionality, but it comes at a cost, as data is processed remotely. Author Martin Brinkmann PERSON Publisher Ghacks Technology News Logo

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