Google researchers have found multiple security flaws in Apple’s Safari web browser that could have allowed the tracking of users’ browsing behaviour, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, ahead of a paper published by the researchers.
The vulnerabilities were found in a tool specifically designed to protect privacy and could have allowed third parties to obtain sensitive information about the browsing habits of users, the report added.
The paper published by researchers claims the Safari vulnerabilities would have let potential hackers view users’ browsing and search history, apart from allowing websites track users. Ironically, the flaws stemmed from Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) feature for Safari, first unveiled in 2017.
In a statement to CNET, Google said, “We’ve long worked with companies across the industry to exchange information about potential vulnerabilities and protect our respective users. Our core security research team has worked closely and collaboratively with Apple on this issue. The technical paper simply explains what our researchers discovered so others can benefit from their findings.”
Alphabet’s Google disclosed the flaws to Apple last August, according to the report. In a blog post in December, an Apple engineer said that the company had fixed flaws disclosed to it by Google researchers. An Apple spokesman on Wednesday confirmed that the flaws found by Google and highlighted in the Financial Times’ story were patched last year.
Google did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.