AP Chrome Extension Permissions

In January 2019, Google announced a fundamental change to the underlying structure of Chrome Extension aimed at making extensions more secure, performant, and privacy-respecting. Google required all developers update their Chrome Extension to the new standard by June 2024. Non-compliant Chrome Extensions are automatically disabled by Google.

To support our users, we rebuilt much of Annotate PRO to follow the new architecture. To maintain AP’s feature set, we had to take advantage of some new permissions that users must grant to a Chrome Extension so it can function. This page describes each permission AP requests and includes a brief explanation of how we use the permission.

Introduction

When you install AP, a pop-up will request permission to:

  • Read data you copy and paste (see #2 below).
  • Modify data you copy and paste (see #3 below).
  • Read your browsing history (see #6 and #9 below).

For more context on how 11trees manages your data responsibly, see our privacy policy.

In the detailed section below you can see a full list of the permissions we request and why we request them. 

The first two bullet points are related to allowing AP to use your clipboard to copy and paste content. Google wants to make sure developers have a good reason to request clipboard access. AP does have a good reason: to add your selected comment text into destination editors. AP uses the clipboard as a backup, when it can’t use more targeted methods to insert text, and with some difficult text editors. For instance, AP supports placing selected comment text into the body of a Google Doc through the clipboard.

AP never saves your clipboard data.

The “Read your browsing history” warning is generated by two permissions. AP uses these permissions to know three things: 1) the browser tab (of many) are you using, 2) its URL, and 3) whether the page has finished loading. 

For instance, AP behaves differently when used with Google Docs vs. Canvas LMS. To do so, AP must understand where it is being used, which requires it understand the URL of the web page the user is visiting. AP does not store your web browsing history.

Chrome Extensions are powerful and all users should only use applications from trusted developers. Google is constantly improving security, scrutinizing Extensions, and review every submission by developers. Extension code must be human readable, so anyone can inspect its logic. We are dedicated to your data security and welcome questions about our policies and approach via email to privacy@11trees.com.

Technical Details

Below is a full list of permissions we request from Google that you can compare with Google’s knowledge base.

1. Access to Your Active Tab

Permission: activeTab

Why We Need It: Annotate PRO uses this permission to know which tab you’re currently using. This allows us to insert your completed text into the right place on the page you’re viewing.

2. Write to Clipboard

Permission: clipboardWrite

Why We Need It: We use this permission to copy content to your clipboard so you can easily add it to your library or paste it where needed. This is particularly important for text areas that don’t allow Extensions to insert content.

3. Read from Clipboard

Permission: clipboardRead

Why We Need It: Similar to writing to the clipboard, this permission lets Annotate PRO read text from your clipboard in order to paste it.

4. Context Menus

Permission: contextMenus

Why We Need It: This permission allows Annotate PRO to show options in the right-click menu. It’s an easy way for you to access and interact with your saved content directly from the page you’re on.

5. Offscreen Access

Permission: offscreen

Why We Need It: Annotate PRO uses this permission to open a small, hidden window for tasks like logging in and checking that the app is running smoothly in the background.

6. Access to Open Tabs

Permission: tabs

Why We Need It: Annotate PRO needs to know which websites you’re visiting to show the right sidebar and keep it updated, especially on sites like Google Docs.

7. Scripting

Permission: scripting

Why We Need It: This permission lets Annotate PRO add scripts to the web pages you visit. These scripts help the extension interact with the content on those pages.

8. Storage

Permission: storage

Why We Need It: Annotate PRO uses Chrome’s extension-specific local storage to remember your data, preferences, and settings between page changes. This ensures a personalized experience every time you use the app and makes AP work faster without having to wait for server responses.

9. Web Navigation

Permission: webNavigation

Why We Need It: This permission allows Annotate PRO to know when a page has finished loading. This way, we can correctly add our sidebar and adjust the page layout as needed.

10. Host Permissions

Permission: Host permission

Why We Need It: Annotate PRO needs to work on any website you visit. This permission allows it to run on all web pages, making it flexible and versatile for your needs.

We hope this makes the permissions requested by Annotate PRO clearer. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out to our support team.