Cross-posted from the Chromium Blog
Extensions are a great way to enhance the browsing experience. However, some extensions ask for broad permissions that allow access to sensitive data such as browser cookies or history. Last year, we introduced the Chrome Apps & Extensions Developer Tool, which provides an improved developer experience for debugging apps and extensions. The newest version of the tool, available today, lets power users audit any app or extension and get visibility into the precise actions that it's performing.Once you’ve installed the Chrome Apps & Extensions Developer Tool, it will start locally auditing your extensions and apps as you use them. For each app or extension, you can see historical activity over the past few days as well as real-time activity by clicking the “Behavior” link. The tool highlights activities that involve your information, such as reading website cookies or modifying web sites, in a privacy section. You can also search for URLs to see if an extension has modified any matching pages. If you’re debugging an app or extension, you can use the “Realtime” tab to watch the stream of API calls as an extension or app runs. This can help you track down glitches or identify unnecessary API calls.
Whether you’re a Chrome power user or a developer testing an extension, the Chrome Apps & Extensions Developer Tool can give you the information you need to understand how apps and extensions affect your browsing.
Posted by Adrienne Porter Felt, Software Engineer and Extension Tinkerer