Because it is considered to violate privacy, Apple reportedly has removed the security application for macOS, Adware Doctor, from the Mac App Store.
Adware Doctor is a popular macOS application that claims to be able to ‘prevent malware infections and malicious files on Mac users’ computers.
However, ironically, the security application actually violates privacy by collecting user browsing history silently without approval.
Without a long wait, Apple immediately removed the Adware Doctor from the Mac App Store application store, BuzzFeed reported.
‘Data theft’ by Adware Doctor was first revealed by security researcher Patrick Wardle from Digita Security. He said that Adware Doctor requested access to the home directory and user files.
Access is then used to collect browsing data from Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Then, this data is compressed into a file called ‘history.zip’ and sent to China.
The problem is, even though given access to the home directory and files, Adware Doctor does not explain the need to collect user browsing data.
“This application has secretly stolen user browsing data, maybe for years,” Wardle wrote in a blog post.
Before being removed, Adware Doctor, which is a paid application for US $5 was included in the list of the Top 5 most popular paid applications in the Mac App Store. It is not yet known whether users who have already bought it will be able to get a refund or not.
To prevent data theft like this from happening again, the next version of MacOS, namely Mojave, will protect history content and browser cookies like Safari so that other applications cannot be accessed.