More Privacy for Web Extensions is coming if you employ several Chrome web extensions to enhance your browsing experience. Google recently announced that the company will be adding a “Privacy Practices” section on each extension’s listing on the Web Store as of early next year. The “Privacy Practices” will outline the data they will collect from you if you install their extension and what they mean to do with it.
The change to Google Chrome web extensions will go into effect on January 18th, 2021, and is an excellent addition. The “Privacy Practices” gives you a much clearer idea of what data developers are looking for from you, and it allows you to make better and more informed choices about which extensions you are willing to install.
Google isn’t the only big tech company to have made moves to Chrome web extensions. Apple is slightly ahead of them here. At the WWDC 2020 developer conference, Apple announced a similar feature to go-live on December 8th, 2020.
Privacy has been a big, thorny issue in 2020, and it will likely continue to be one of the defining issues of our time for many years to come. As individual users, any tools that big tech firms give us, the more control over who gets access to our personal information, the better. Therefore, both Google and Apple are making definite moves in the right direction.
It still needs a lot of work, but these are exceptional first steps. Kudos to both Google and Apple for taking meaningful action that puts more control in the hands of their users, and don’t forget to check out the new “Privacy Practices” section before you install that extension you’re interested in. The developer that made it might be looking for more information than you’re comfortable with sharing.