Chrome Web Store
Although they started out as strengths of modern web browsers, extensions quickly became a handicap. Reflecting a persistent problem with Android apps in the Google Play Store, the Chrome Web Store has become famous for all kinds of questionable extensions, from scams to actively harmful utilities promising the moon and beyond. To its credit, Google has worked to improve the state of Chrome extensions and next year the firm will focus on protecting user privacy and security, albeit at the traditional expense of some convenience.
Browser Data and Components
One of the biggest concerns with Chrome browser extensions is their access to browser data and components. Of course, users give extensions these permissions so they can use them, but those permissions are often an all-or-nothing affair. As it is, Chrome Extensions have access to every website you visit.
However, starting next year, before Chrome 88 releases on January 18, Google will reverse this policy. Instead, users will need to be more explicit about which sites they will allow extensions to access their data on Chrome. Although they can always choose to grant general permission to an extension, the default answer is a firm “no”. This change is expected to improve online privacy and may even limit the appeal of anonymous browsers.
Google will also require all Chrome extensions to be honest. about their privacy practices, although users should read those policies. It promises that the language used for these will be simple and easy to understand and most likely will be a checklist that developers can turn on or off as needed. Of course, this assumes the developers are being honest, but Google says it will limit what extensions can do with the data collected, just in case.