Does Opera GX sell your data?

Opera GX, the gaming version of Opera, is a pretty solid browser. But what about privacy issues, like collecting and selling user data? Does Opera GX sell your data?

Opera GX is a web browser aimed at gamers. Based on Opera, which is Chromium-based, Opera GX works rather well and is safe, at least when it comes to online security. However, Opera and its different versions, Opera GX included, do have issues regarding online privacy. From reading Opera’s Privacy Statement (which also covers Opera GX), it’s clear that Opera collects various user data. But does Opera GX sell your data? Read on and find out.

Does Opera GX sell your data? – it’s complicated

As we’ve already noted, Opera and Opera GX do collect various user data. Most of the said data is generated via opt-in features and services, such as Opera account or Opera Mobile’s data compression feature. You don’t have to create an account to use Opera GX. That said, even if you don’t use opt-in services, your data is collected. For instance, the Opera GX gaming news feature collects anonymous user data to serve relevant news.

Next, as soon as you install any version of the Opera browser, Opera GX included, the app will generate a random (anonymous) installation ID. This ID contains usage data as well as “your device ID and hardware specification, operating system and environment configuration, and feature usage data.” We’ve taken this quote from Opera’s Privacy Statement. There’s also the issue of the built-in VPN found in Opera browsers. And yes, this VPN is also found in Opera GX. Opera GX VPN generates a device id once you start it, with the created id staying tied to the browser. In other words, you indirectly create user data as soon as you start the VPN service. And Opera, which owns the said VPN, can pass that data to third parties.

Of course, by using third-party services, browser extensions, and visiting and logging in to different websites your data will be collected and used by those parties. That’s a given. Next, Opera mobile browsers, including the Opera GX mobile version, include third-party tech, some of which do collect your data. Overall, there are multiple ways for Opera and its partners to collect your usage data even if you don’t use optional services and features found in Opera GX. But does Opera GX and the company behind it flat-out sell your data?

Well, Opera GX may not sell your data directly, but Opera Ltd., the company behind the browser, most certainly does earn money on the private information it collects. After all, the company itself states that “As noted in our End User License Agreements and Terms of Service, our applications are ad-supported.” It’s all written in the “Personalized Ads” section of Opera Privacy Statement. We’re sharing the entire section below:

Personalized Ads

Based on advertising IDs and your general location, some of our mobile applications may serve targeted ads. These ads are provided by our monetization partners. You can always adjust your personalized ad choices in the application’s “Settings” menu or through your operating system’s settings.

We collect this data pursuant to our legitimate business interests. As noted in our End User License Agreements and Terms of Service, our applications are ad-supported. Collecting this information helps us offset the costs of our business and helps provide a more personalized experience for the user.

The last sentence strongly suggests that, by using Opera GX, your data will be collected and used. Further, the statement suggests that Opera Ltd. will earn money from that data. Whether that’s directly by selling it or by sharing it with the company’s monetization partners is irrelevant. Now, before you delete Opera GX, note that this only works in case you’re using a mobile version of Opera GX. But there’s a catch. If we look at the Anonymous Usage Statistics portion of the privacy statement, we notice this section:

We use this information [random installation ID created when you install Opera GX] for certain legitimate business purposes, namely:

  • To understand better how people interact with our applications and services;
  • To enhance, modify, customize or otherwise improve our applications and services;
  • To determine the effectiveness of promotional campaigns and advertising;
  • To detect, debug and fix crashes in our applications and services;
  • To prevent security breaches and abuse.

That third “legitimate business purpose” does look like earning money from your usage statistics. Not directly but via increasing the effectiveness of ads. And the ad effectiveness is increased by using your browsing data for research and analysis.

So, to summarize. Some opt-in services and features definitely collect your private data. Opera doesn’t sell that data directly. However, the company uses the data for creating revenue. Next, if you’re using the mobile version of Opera GX, Opera most certainly sells your data. If you’re using the Windows version of Opera GX, your data isn’t directly sold. However, the said data is used in a way that, in the end, makes money for Opera.