This is not the first time Google has revised policies for Chrome Web Store. But despite making changes in the past, developers have managed to publish malicious and misleading extensions on the platform. A significant increase in fraudulent transactions has been reported multiple times in the past. Earlier this year, Google suspended paid Chrome extensions on the Chrome Web Store.
Google Chrome Policy and Anti-abuse team Rebecca Soarer and Benjamin Ackerman said, “The increase in adoption of the extension platform has also attracted scammers and fraudsters introducing low-quality and misleading extensions in an attempt to deceive and trick our users into installing them to make a quick profit.”
The tech giant has come up with the following new anti-spam policies.
- Developers or their affiliates cannot publish multiple extensions offering the same set of functionality.
- Extensions must not be misleading, irrelevant or having an incorrect description. It is necessary that description, title, screenshots, promotional messages are well-written and clear.
- Extensions with a single purpose of installing or launching another app, theme, webpage or extension are not allowed.
- Developers cannot manipulate the placement of any extensions in the Chrome Web Store. This includes malpractice of manipulating reviews, install counts or ratings.
- Extensions that only launch other apps or websites are no longer allowed.
- Extension that sends messages on behalf of users without notifying them are banned.
- Extensions that abuse notifications by showing unwanted messages, ads, promotions, phishing attempts are banned.
The blog post notes that the developer must comply with the policies by August 27th. After this date, extensions violating the new policy will be taken down from the Chrome Web store.