Dolphin Browser HD, a popular replacement browser for Android, recently came under fire over privacy concerns. First reported on the XDA-Developers forum, it turns out that the new Webzine feature introduced in the most recent version of Dolphin HD forwards the URL of visited webpages to Dolphin servers.
Dolphin has since elaborated on the situation on their official blog. According to Dolphin, when the browser loads a URL it is forwarded to their servers so the address could be checked against a known database of websites with Webzine capability. This allowed the “Toggle Webzine” feature to provide a quick switch from mobile websites to Webzine-enabled versions. Dolphin stated via their blog that none of the data has ever been stored on their servers, and emphasized that user privacy and safety is a top priority for the company.
To allay immediate concerns Dolphin Browser HD has been updated with the Toggle Webzine feature disabled, which prevents URLs from being forwarded. Dolphin stated that the feature will return in a future version of the browser, but only if users opt in. Future versions will also provide a more transparent summary of the URL-checking process, so users can make an informed decision before enabling the Toggle Webzine capability.