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Google to app builders, go open or go home

When it comes to Google Chrome, honesty is the best policy. And now, that’s a mantra the folks at the Chrome Web Store are enforcing for all its developers. On Friday, Google updated its Chrome data policy, and the big victor is transparency. Under its new User Data Policy, Chrome users can rest assured that existing policies have been extended “to ensure transparent use of the data in a way that is consistent with [their] wishes and expectations.”

As per the updated rules, developers are now required to be transparent about the handling of user data and disclose privacy practices; post a privacy policy and use encryption when handling personal or sensitive information; and last but not least, ask users to consent to the collection of personal or sensitive data via a prominent disclosure, when the use of the data isn’t related to a prominent feature.

The move appears to be the latest in Google’s quest to ensure that it’s a safe place on the web. In 2015, the tech giant blocked all extensions not listed in the Chrome Web Store, and also disallowed the deceptive inline installation of Chrome extensions.

“Principles of transparency and choice over how users’ personal data is handled have long been key parts of Google’s philosophy,” Google noted in a blog post announcement. “Since early on, Chrome has included privacy-protecting features to give users control over their browsing experience, including incognito mode and granular privacy preferences.”

Developers who are in violation of the new policy will be notified of their transgressions, and Google says that they have until July 14 of this year to make necessary changes. If they fail to comply, beginning July 15, Google will be booting them from the Web Store.

So get your act together, developers. Google Chrome isn’t playing around anymore, and neither should you.

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