The new Browzar internet browser is promising users a way to surf the internet while disclosing a limited amount of personal information.
In an attempt to protect the privacy of its users, the application doesn't store a history of previously visited websites and cookies. nor does it maintain a cache or offer to auto-complete online forms.
These features can prevent the disclosure of sensitive information on shared computers and limit the risk of identity theft. They won't however prevent cases such as the recent AOL publication of search queries from 650,000 users which the provider had collected on its servers.
The application is currently in beta and available for Windows systems only. The free download shares several components with Internet Explorer. It doesn't require any installation and removes all temporary files after it is terminated. Users can store the downloadable file on their computer or fetch a fresh copy every time the need to browse the internet.
The Browzar is a project by Freeserve founder Ajaz Ahmed, who pioneered the free internet provider business in the UK. The venture in 2004 was sold to sold to Wanadoo for £1.65 billion (US$2.37 billion).
"We divulge masses of information about our habits, hobbies and financial dealings while online, often unknowingly, and there are times when all of us would rather this was kept private," said Ahmed.
"Using Browzar, anyone worldwide can surf the Web privately in the knowledge that no-one will stumble across the sites they have visited when using the same computer.
Internet browsers by default are configured to store cookies, build a cache and store the URLs of recently visited websites. Users are prompted before auto-complete features are activates. The features are designed to make for faster and more convenient web surfing. They also enable websites to recognize users when the return without requiring them to sign-in first.
Although users can manually delete the history and other items containing sensitive information, most users fail to do so due to time constraints or a lack of expertise, Ahmed argued.
Browzar promises privacy-proof surfing
By Tom Sanders on Aug 31, 2006 11:55AM