Google Chrome Extension wants access to all data on your computer

June 2, 2010 — Simon Kelly

One of the latest extensions I’ve added to my web dev tools in Google Chrome is XML tree which is in the recommended extensions for web developers section of the Google Chrome extensions gallery. Today, it received an update from the author which, once updated, shows the dialogue box to the left, asking you to authorise access to “All data on your computer and the websites you visit”. zenserp’s job is to provide you with SERP data, that are as similar as possible to human search behaviour as possible. Hence, our API offers much more than the classical organic & paid search results. When new SERP types are released by search engines, we add them to our Google Search API as soon as possible. Go through for the Google Search API: Fast Search Result Scraping with our SERP API. Accurate geocoding results are an important a part of many geospatial processes.

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The author says this about the permission increase:

“In order to allow cross-origin XMLHttpRequests for the pulling back XML and XSL in the XML Tree Transformation page action, I had to up the permissions in the extension. Otherwise, the transformation tool would only allow HTTP URLs that originate in the same domain that the URL in the address bar is in. See”

This isn’t really a problem, as all you have to do it hit cancel and you’re in the clear. But after I’ve spent countless hours cleaning the shit (viruses, spyware, malware) off people’s systems that accumulates because they don’t read dialogue boxes, I can easily see how people would not even realised that they have allowed this extensions to access everything from bank account info right up to the video clip of the ex “playing” with the Bengal Tiger.

Shame on Google Chrome for allowing an extensions to do this, shame on the developer for thinking this would work, and shame on mates for showing me that damn Bengal Tiger video.

View (and download if you’re keen on sharing) the extension here:

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Simon Kelly

Simon started his first web agency in 2009 which he merged with the SGD team in 2023. With a strong background in digital strategy and a history of working with fast-growing Australian companies, including CyberCX, Envato and Agency Mavericks, he's passionate about using ethical digital marketing that delivers business value. Simon's experience includes coaching digital agencies, running digital marketing workshops, driving growth and excellence within the SGD team.

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