Chrome Extension will Now Have To Abide by Strict Policy Announced by Google from October Onwards

To access personal data, Google is about to do a root and branch review of third-party developers through Project Strobe.

Recently, two new Chrome Web Store policies are announced by Google, and developers will be expected to follow them by the end of this year. Previously it was only encouraged that extension ask for access to the minimum amount of data. Whereas now the third-party browser tools and utilities are required to get access to only least amount of data.

Formerly only the add-ons involved in dealing with personal data or sensitive information were required to post privacy policies. Now, even the extensions that deal with private communications specially or content that is provided by users have to display their privacy policies.

After initially announcing it in May, the company has finally released the formal decision. Till 15th October, developers can choose to adopt the updated User Data Policy, after which Google will automatically impose it.

After the due date, actions will be taken against the violation of rules. Items will be removed or rejected from the Web Store in case they don't follow the new User Data Policy.

While auditing the Chrome extensions, developers must keep these guidelines in mind:

1. List the existing permissions of extensions and switch to substitute option that is close to it. Make a list of permissions along with the reason why these are needed for Chrome Web Store listing or in the 'about page' of extension as well. Include the new permission in an updated version of the extensions have added new features and may require new permissions.

2. The privacy policy of extensions must be publicly posted that handle personal and sensitive information, including private communications and user-provided content, and should also handle user data with high security, as transferring it through modern cryptography. Developer dashboard can be used to link privacy policy with a developer's account, to add a privacy policy. Every published extension must have a similar privacy policy.

Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg / Getty Images

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