During the height of the holiday shopping season, the e-commerce giant warned some users that the browser extension called “Honey”, now owned by Paypal, could be a “security issue” urging them to uninstall it “immediately.”
PayPal paid $4 billion for Honey in December — the largest acquisition in the payment company’s history. The Los Angeles-based start-up was founded in 2012, and lets 17 million of its users find coupons while shopping online. It works through a browser extension known as a “plug-in” that automatically searches for discounts as customers shop on sites like Amazon, making a commission off each sale.
Amazon clearly isn’t fond of the app – the service message on company’s website says that “Honey tracks your private shopping behaviour, collects data like your order history and items saved, and can read or change any of your data on any website you visit” and has urged users to “uninstall this extension immediately.”
PayPal and Amazon have a long-time history of tense relations. PayPal was once a part of Amazon competitor eBay, and Amazon does not accept PayPal as an option in check-out. However, Honey’s plug-in has been compatible with Amazon since it hit the market roughly seven years ago and became a “security concern” only after the acquisition by PayPal.
A spokesperson for Honey said the extension “is not — and has never been — a security risk and is safe to use.”
The company said it collects “limited shopping data” to analyze information on retail websites so users can find the best coupon, but does ″not sell your personal information. Ever.”