Capital One Shopping reads your email messages through Chrome

Capital One Shopping can read your email messages and collect your name, email address, and other personal information through Google Chrome. The way they do this is through their browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and other web browsers as well as other services they provide.

In 2018 Capital One acquired Wikibuy, a shopping comparison app and browser extension. They expanded the app and extension across multiple web browsers including Google Chrome where it is currently named Capital One Shopping: Add to Chrome for Free. The extension may also be referred to as the Capital One extension or Capital One Shopping extension for Chrome.

The Capital One Shopping browser extension is promoted as a simple and free way to save online. It will automatically apply coupons to online shopping carts while the user is shopping online at stores such as Target, Best Buy, and Amazon. In addition, the Capital One extension will show their users a pop-up if a better offer for a product is found.

Information collected by Capital One Shopping

In return for using the Capital One Shopping extension and other services, Capital One will collect data about their users including:

  • Personal information: Full names, email addresses, usernames and passwords, account access tokens, retail account log-in credentials, credit card information, phone number, billing address, mailing/shipping address, zip code, whether the user has a Capital One account, and other personally identifiable information.
  • Email messages: Email data including but not limited to email header data (sender, recipient, date, and subject), transaction or purchase activity and details, travel-related bookings, purchase shipment history and details, and information about the use of coupons and other savings opportunities.
  • Transaction Data: Account information, user name, merchant name, transaction amount, transaction date, and time.

To read more about the information collected by Capital One and what they do with the information read their privacy policy.

Is Capital One Shopping malware?

Capital One Shopping: Add to Chrome for Free is not recognized as a malicious app or extension but there are several security concerns native to the extension and how it is advertised online. For example, Capital One Shopping may utilize questionable and often malicious advertising networks that advertise third-party malware and promote Capital One Shopping: Add to Chrome for Free as something it is not such as a necessary security update or tool used to watch a video. Advertisements promoting the Capital One Shopping: Add to Chrome for Free extension may withhold important privacy information.

  • Utilizes advertising networks that advertise malware.
  • Advertised as something it is not.
  • Withholds privacy information.

In addition to possible security threats, Capital One Shopping’s terms of service which is over 10,000 words, says that the company may email or provide their users with coupons, offers, and other specials from third parties and they are not responsible for the legitimacy of the offers. This means that personal information such as email addresses, phone numbers, and home addresses will be distributed to third parties and Capital One Shopping does not take responsibility for what happens.

Applications and browser extensions like Capital One Shopping: Add to Chrome for Free are the reason why many people receive unwanted phone calls from telemarketers, spam email messages, and more so removing it as soon as possible is recommended to stop this from happening.

In addition, we recommend using the free or paid versions of Malwarebytes to perform a full scan and remove any security threats from Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

 

John Boyle

John is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. Sean's content has been featured in numerous publications.

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