Google is introducing a new policy starting January 2021 that is going to require Chrome Web Store extensions to disclose information about data use.
Extension creators will have to show developer-provided information about the data collect in clear and easy to understand language.
Developers will be required to explain the kind of data they are collecting, such as sign-ins or personally identifiable information.
“The new policy also requires developers to certify their data use practices, and display that information directly on the Chrome Web Store listing to help users understand an extension’s privacy practices,” Google outlined in a blog post.
Developers will have to promise to honour the new policy, which also prevents them from selling data to third parties or using data for unrelated purposes.
Extension creators can start to display disclosures now, but they won’t be visible until January 18th. Google says that it’s going to send a notice to developers that haven’t displayed disclosures by this date.
Although it can be easy for abusers to misreport information about data collection, hopefully this new policy will make it easier to understand whether it’s safe to download certain extensions.