Google Announced an Update to its Chrome Store Policies


Google announced an update to its Chrome store policies this week that requires all extensions to be explicit about user data collection and use.

The amendments to be implemented in January 2021 conform with previous policies requiring extensions to require only certain approvals that they need to incorporate their functions.

Today, Google is restricting what developers are able to do with the user data they receive, and the current regulation allows developers, specifically on the Chrome Web Store listing, to be explicit about the privacy policies of their extension.

From January 2021, the comprehensive listing of each extension in the Chrome Web Store will display developer-provided information in simple and easy to understand language about the data gathered by the extension. Collection of data disclosure is open to developers today,” Google says.

Google now requires that the use or transfer of user data be for the primary benefit of the user and in accordance with the stated purpose of the extension,” in order to limit the manner in which extension developers use collected data.

In addition, Google does not allow user data to be sold by extension developers and prohibits the use/transfer of that data for personalized advertising, creditworthiness, or for any form of credit qualification.

“The item listing page will also show whether the developer has certified that this new policy complies with their extension,” describes the organization.

The new regulation allows developers looking to publish or upgrade an extension to include data use information from the developer dashboard’s privacy page, providing specifics of what data is being obtained and compliance certification with the new Restricted Access Policy.

To make it easy for developers, the disclosure form is organized by type and maps precisely the disclosures that will be shown to Chrome users. Most of this data will be consistent with current privacy policies supplied to the Chrome Web Store by developers, the Internet giant says.

Google has already released the series of data disclosures to developers and will reveal them from January 18, 2021, on the Chrome Web Store listing. To warn consumers, a note will be seen on the store listings of developers that have not issued privacy disclosures beginning that day.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.