Menu
Chrome extensions will soon have to tell you what data they collect

Chrome extensions will soon have to tell you what data they collect

New rules mean no more sneaky collection of user data without prominent notifications

Google is about to make it harder for Chrome extensions to collect your browsing data without letting you know about it, according to a new policy announced Friday.

Starting in mid-July, developers releasing Chrome extensions will have to comply with a new User Data Policy that governs how they collect, transmit and store private information. Extensions will have to encrypt personal and sensitive information, and developers will have to disclose their privacy policies to users.

Developers will also have to post a "prominent disclosure" when collecting sensitive data that isn't related to a prominent feature. That's important, because extensions have tremendous power to track users' browsing habits and then use that for nefarious purposes.

With this change, an extension that's marketed as a way to add themes to social media sites but also scrapes the number of friends a user has on that site for sale or research purposes will have to prominently tell users about it.

By requiring developers to be up front about what they might be collecting behind the scenes, Google can help make sure that its users are protected from shady extensions, and make sure that people know how their information is being used.

However, users shouldn't expect prominent disclosures for every piece of information collected. For example, Google allows developers to collect anonymized data about how people use their extensions without a prominent disclosure (though it should be represented in their privacy policies).

Google has given developers until July 14 to update their extensions to comply with the new policy. After that, extensions that don't follow Google's new guidelines will be removed from the Chrome Web Store.


Take this 5 minute survey on The State of Cloud Storage & Collaboration 2016 and go in the draw to win a $500 Visa credit card.

Start Survey NOW



Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google

Featured

Slideshows

Channel celebrates as HP marks 50 years in NZ

Channel celebrates as HP marks 50 years in NZ

HP marked 50 years in New Zealand at an event in the vendor's Auckland's headquarters last night, with a host of key channel figures coming along to celebrate. Photos by HP.

Channel celebrates as HP marks 50 years in NZ
EDGE 2017 - Icebreaker Sessions round 2

EDGE 2017 - Icebreaker Sessions round 2

EDGE guests experience the value of networking at the second round of Icebreaker sessions.. Photos by Maria Stefina

EDGE 2017 - Icebreaker Sessions round 2
EDGE 2017 Dinner Under the Stars

EDGE 2017 Dinner Under the Stars

EDGE's Day 2 keynote and breakout sessions were followed by the Dinner Under the Stars. Over 300 people were present to enjoy a seafood feast and lots of excitement at Hamilton Island's Bougainvillea Marquee. Photos by Maria Stefina.

EDGE 2017 Dinner Under the Stars
Show Comments