Google is cleaning up its Chrome Web Store – the marketplace where you can browse for extensions and apps for its Chrome web browser. The company says it’s making changes to browser’s User Data Policy, which will now require developers to be more transparent about how they handle customer data, and which will require user consent when data is collected, among other things.
The changes come at a time when the Chrome Web Store has been targeted by malware makers, who have posted rogue extensions that do terrible things like spy on web users and collect their personal data. It also arrives in a post-Snowden era where governments, like those in the EU, are getting involved in passing user data privacy regulations and legislation.
In January, security firm Malwarebytes pointed to one rogue extension that was only pulled after a thousand downloads, as an example of the malware problem. The extension, which required elevated permissions, silently talked back to a remote server and would push ads to users after installation.