Google: Responsible and Trustworthy Chrome Extensions with a Dab of Respect the User

June 7, 2023

More Malicious Extensions in Chrome Web Store” documents some Chrome extensions (add ins) which allegedly compromise a user’s computer. Google has been using words like responsible and trust with increasing frequency. With Chrome in use by more than half of those with computing devices, what’s the dividing line between trust and responsibility for Google smart software and stupid but market leading software like Chrome. If a non-Google third party can spot allegedly problematic extensions, why can’t Google? Is part of the answer, “Talk is cheap. Fixing software is expensive”? That’s a good question.

The cited article states:

… we are at 18 malicious extensions with a combined user count of 55 million. The most popular of these extensions are Autoskip for Youtube, Crystal Ad block and Brisk VPN: nine, six and five million users respectively.

The write up crawfishes, stating:

Mind you: just because these extensions monetized by redirecting search pages two years ago, it doesn’t mean that they still limit themselves to it now. There are way more dangerous things one can do with the power to inject arbitrary JavaScript code into each and every website.

My reaction is that why are these allegedly malicious components in the Google “store” in the first place?

I think the answer is obvious: Talk is cheap. Fixing software is expensive. You may disagree, but I hold fast to my opinion.

Stephen E Arnold, June 7, 2023


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