Should Google notify customers when an extension or app changes?

Should Google notify customers when an extension or app changes?

Last week, Google Remote disabled A very popular chrome extension found to contain malware. The period leading up to this point was complex, but the ultimate cause can again be linked to a change in ownership June 2020. It’s a common refrain at this point: developers benefit (as they’re allowed to), but unscrupulous new owners are only interested in a quick profit. Sometimes these acquisitions come with a tweet or blog post; In the best case, the app or extension will explicitly tell you that it is under the new ownership. But you can’t always count on that. So, should customers be notified when a plugin or app changes?

There are right ways and wrong ways to approach the acquisition. It was a good example When Tasker is back again in 2018. The current owner / developer was João Dias is ideal Choose to take charge, as he’s already been contributing related plugins for years. News of the change spread widely, and everyone using the app was aware of it. I bet you can’t find a single client who is dissatisfied with the way he has handled development since then either.

When it comes to more corporate acquisitions, it’s a trade-off Backup and restore SMS from Carbonite to SyncTech It was handled well. The new owners did not try to hide what happened. If I remember correctly, the app Itself It has an interface showing the news, as did the first changelog after the sale. And when the new owners took steps to monetize through ads, they made sure to keep the option to unsubscribe so that old users wouldn’t be alienated.

Either way, the new owners have kept in touch and taken responsibility, and customers still love their related apps. But not every acquisition is pro-consumer. Cheetah Mobile, for example, has a long history of Purchase applications And then Sabotage them. Their actions are hostile to the user (and Outright fraudulent) That Google has taken the extraordinary step of Block every app they make from its own Play Store. In the world of Chrome extensions some companies Even just buying old extensions with an active user base to download malware.

Although these acquisitions can go well or badly, as far as we can tell, there aren’t actually any rules that require developers to inform their customers that the app is about to change. There is a whole lot of results when this happens, but often customers don’t discover it until it’s too late and things go downhill. Google has it Several developer policies Covering things from Subscription bills to me Encryption On the Play Store, however, we can’t find a single hint of customers who have been notified of a acquisition – the closest the company comes to it is that Ownership cannot be misrepresented or hidden. Google Chrome Web Store Policies Similar, impersonation and phishing are prohibited, but without the need to directly notify clients if your extension is under new ownership.

Chrome extensions are disabled if permissions change, but that doesn’t help if it is already collecting all of your data, and customers are virtually trained to simply re-enable these apps without much scrutiny.

Chrome extensions and apps are bought and sold all the time, often for the worse. Should customers be notified when this occurs? Feel free to specify all that apply and agree with any details or qualifications for this opinion in the comments.

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