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News hardware & software 26 July 2019, 12:09

author: Bart Swiatek

Privacy: Google Gives an Ultimatum to Devs of Chrome Extensions

Google has decided to change the policy for Chrome browser extensions. Add-ons will only be able to request user data that is necessary for their operation. The changes will enter into force in October. Extensions that are not adapted to the new requirements will disappear from the Chrome Web Store.

Google will keep Chrome safe.

IN A NUTSHELL:

  1. Chrome extensions are to be designed to request access only to the data they actually need to operate;
  2. Requirement for a clear privacy policy will be extended to further categories of add-ins;
  3. Changes will enter into force on October 15.

Google has decided to give an ultimatum to Chrome extension developers to make its browser more secure. Developers are supposed to change their work so that it reques access only to the data that is actually required for their work. Add-ons that do not conform to this standard will be removed from the Chrome Web Store platform. The company gave the creators time to October 15.

We’re requiring extensions to only request access to the least amount of data. While this has previously been encouraged of developers, now we’re making this a requirement for all extensions," reads a note on the Chromium blog.

The giant also wants the developers of extensions that deal with communication or user-created content to clearly communicate their privacy policies from October. It is noteworthy that this requirement already exists, but only applies to add-ons handling personal or private data. Google wants the rule to include more extensions in the future.

"Our policies have previously required any extension that handles personal and sensitive user data to post a privacy policy and handle that data securely. Now, we’re expanding this category to include extensions that handle user-provided content and personal communications. Of course, extensions must continue to be transparent in how they handle user data, disclosing the collection, use and sharing of that data," we read.

The discussed changes are part of the so-called Strobe Project, the basic ideas of which were presented in October last year. At that time the message was more moderate - now Google has shown its teeth.

  1. Google Chrome - official website
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