Google Chrome extensions can be incredibly useful things, but the fact they operate on an everything-or-nothing basis doesn’t seem particularly secure. The good news that Chrome may get an upgrade that adds a little bit more privacy to the proceedings.
As spotted by Reddit user u/Leopeva64-2 (opens in new tab), it looks like Google is in the process of redesigning Chrome’s extensions menu. Apparently one of the new options in this redesign is the ability to block all extensions from a specific site, similar to the ‘pause all extensions on this site’ feature in Microsoft Edge.
Browser extensions you got from the Chrome store should be fairly secure, there are still plenty of places you wouldn’t want to take that risk. You never can tell where those bits of software came from, or what information they might be collecting.
The last thing you want is to risk the chance they may vacuum up your sensitive information — be it passwords, banking details or something else entirely. All because you wanted to block ads or access your email slightly faster.
Chromium code suggests that this option will be kept in the extension menu, which can be found to the right of the address bar. However, it doesn't seem as though you’ll be able to pick and choose what extensions are active on a particular site. Instead, you either enable all extensions or none of them, with no option for a middle ground. But it would be nice to see that feature arrive in future, especially if an extension only works on a small handful of sites.
Presumably you will still be able to disable individual extensions, just as you can right now. That way they'll be inactive on all websites until you decide otherwise.
Unfortunately, this feature still appears to be in development, and isn’t available to the public yet. Bleeping Computer (opens in new tab) couldn’t get the feature to work in the Chrome beta either, suggesting this may be an A/B test.
In short, this feature may not be available for quite some time and we’re just going to have to wait and see what’s involved if and when it hits the public version of Chrome.