Opera’s baked in VPN is NOT a good solution for your privacy!

 

Written May 27, 2016

The news recently dropped that Opera will begin bundling a VPN into the beta version of their browser. This was met with cheers and positive articles from many tech blogs and subs all over Reddit. I’ve been trying to leave comments to provide this information, but figured it might be easier to put it all in a thread.

I want to take a minute to educate those reading these so that you can manage your expectations and learn why this is not a good solution for privacy conscious users.

Some facts:

On 10 February 2016, a group of Chinese investors offered $1.2 billion to buy the company:

Opera’s business model is as an ad network.

Opera is an ad network and collects your usage data for those purposes.

Opera and third-parties, including Google, use first-party cookies and third-party cookies together to a) inform, optimize, and serve ads

Opera uses Facebook Custom Audience on Opera’s web Opera and Facebook uses cookies, web beacons or similar technologies to collect or receive information from your visit to Opera’s website with the purpose to provide measurement and target ads on Facebook.

Opera purchased SurfEasy VPN just over a year ago:

SurfEasy is a VPN company located in Canada (a five eyes country)

They keep bandwidth and usage logs. These are temporary, but they’re still logs.

Remember, if you aren’t paying for it, YOU are the product. Opera isn’t doing this out of the kindness of their heart, they are in it for your data as that’s how they operate. There are many VPN companies that do not log their users data. They might ask a fee, but that’s what’s required for the best possible privacy in this arena.

Also: Here’s a good article with more info by HelpNet Security.

 

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