Google clamps down on Chrome extensions that collect sensitive data

In an effort to limit data collection by third-party ad-blocking Chrome extensions, Google announces its intentions to replace some parts of Chrome’s Web Request API. These sets of API enable developers to monitor, analyze, and shape web traffic with the Declarative Net Request API – that doesn’t require access to sensitive user data.

In its recent blog post, Google explained that the current Web Request API requires users to give permission to pass their private information like emails and photos to the given extension. However, the new system – the Declarative Net Request API will block content at the installation time.
Google limits content-blocking Chrome extensions that collect user's personal information
Google claims that the safety and protection of the user have always been the priority of the Chromium project that was launched 10 years ago. As the product advances in its offering, Google claims that it wants to continue providing safeguards to the users while they enjoy their browsing experience.

The Declarative Net Request API migration will adopt many changes to improve performance, security, and privacy protocols through innovative features like granular controls over permissions, a comprehensive review process, and two-step verification.

It also builds on Google’s effort to provide users with better transparency as they announced at the I/O 2019. During the event, the search giant announced enhanced confidentiality with the users on how they are using the cookies on sites. Google also said that they had plans to reduce the way browsers fingerprint the users and promised to release an open source browser extension for the ads it shows from the publishing partners.

According to Google, these and other enhancements have lowered the rate of malicious extension installations by 89 percent since early 2018. Currently, these protocols are helpful in blocking 1,800 malicious uploads per month from reaching the Chrome Web Store.

Google Chrome is Improving Security and Privacy for Extensions Users

"We understand that these changes will require developers to update the way in which their extensions operate.", explained Devlin Cronin, Chrome Extensions expert, in a blog post on Google security blog. Adding further, "However, we think it is the right choice to enable users to limit the sensitive data they share with third-parties while giving them the ability to curate their own browsing experience."

Read next: Chrome 75 Comes With a Lot of New Features for Android and Desktop Users

Featured photo: Shutterstock / Evan Lorne
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