Google removes two Chrome extensions for spamming users


Google has removed two Chrome extensions from its web store after it was revealed they started to covertly spam users with adverts.

"Tweet my Page" and "Add to Feedly" were updated with code that meant users were spammed with adverts on every webpage they visited.

This was in direct violation of the search giant's terms of service, which Google revised in December.

The creator of the Feedly add-on revealed he had sold the rights to the extension for a 4-figure sum to an unknown party.

"I had no clue about the buyer and was also curious to know why would anyone pay this kind of money for such a simple Chrome extension," noted Amit Agarwal in his blog.

"A month later, the new owners of the Feedly extension pushed an update to the Chrome store. No, the update didn't bring any new features to the table nor contained any bug fixes. Instead, they incorporated advertising into the extension."

It appears a number of other developers have been approached by third parties with requests to insert such code into their apps. The creators of coupon extension called "Honey" which has over 260,000 users, took to Reddit to confirm it has been rejecting offers.

"Over the past year we've been approached by malware companies that have tried to buy the extension, data collection companies that have tried to buy user data, and adware companies that have tried to partner with us. We turned them all down," Gemusan noted.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.