Project Strobe–Important Things to Know

Author: PeopleFinders on October 3rd, 2019
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If you’ve dabbled in the world of cybersecurity, you’ve probably heard of Project Strobe, if not in name, then at least in agency. This Google-headed policy is a step toward more privacy for Google Chrome users. It came in large part because of the ways in which data was leaking more and more often on the internet.

Even if you aren’t tapped into cybersecurity news, it’s still a good idea to get the lowdown on this project. Here’s a quick overview of why it matters for you:

What Is Project Strobe?

Project Strobe is the name for a policy that Google has developed to attempt to control Google Chrome extensions’ usage of your personal data. After so many companies–including Google itself–have suffered data breaches, millions of adults in America have ended up losing their important personal data. That’s a big problem.

However, with Project Strobe, Google Chrome extensions will have more stringent privacy requirements. Two of them, to be exact. First, extensions must use the least possible amount of personal data required for usage. Second, extensions need to post privacy policies when handling any user-submitted content.

How Long Has Project Strobe Been in Development?

The project itself was put into motion in late 2018. It was then that Google discovered a serious data breach in Google+, which resulted in over 500,000 people having their personal data potentially revealed. This serious data breach caused the company to rethink privacy across its entire platform, both in the content it produces and in the content produced by users.

However, this specific facet of Project Strobe wasn’t introduced until May of 2019. That was the point at which Google announced that it would be cracking down on extensions. This ensures that, moving forward, Google Chrome users don’t have to deal with extensions asking for personal data permissions and then using that personal data in shady ways.

When Is Project Strobe Starting?

Google Chrome extension developers have had a few months to understand Project Strobe, and determine if and how the policies will affect their requirements. So, Google is planning to officially start enforcing it this month.

There have been a few different waves of information regarding Project Strobe. But it’s pretty much all out there now, including information on what Google is requiring extensions to do, what it’s encouraging them to do, and what will happen if extensions break the rules.

October 15th will mark the official start of Project Strobe. Google has promised to kick extensions off the Google Chrome web store if they haven’t aligned with these new policies by then.

If you’re just a general Google Chrome user, you probably won’t even notice this change. At most, some of the extensions you already use will just update their privacy information.

How Can I Continue to Make Sure I Stay Safe Online?

This is an important move for Google Chrome, extension developers, and the public. It won’t stop all malicious developers. But it’ll make it much easier for Google Chrome to root those developers out and put an end to their data harvesting.

However, you can’t just rely upon a company to put these boundaries up for you. It’s also important for you to put up some boundaries of your own. To try and do that, start with PeopleFinders.

With PeopleFinders, you can attempt to make sure that your personal information is safe, even if you’ve recently been part of a data breach or other cybersecurity threat.

Try to look yourself up via a people search. By doing so, you may be able to access your public records information. If you are able to find that info, then look it over carefully to verify it. Does it look like your social security number has been leaked? Or did you or someone else accidentally post your home address on social media?

Checking your available information on PeopleFinders just may help you find out if there are any leaks. And if so, then you can go to the original data source to correct the information faster than you might be able to otherwise.

Conclusion

Online safety isn’t easy. Cybersecurity extends far behind mere physical security, and that can be a daunting prospect. The good news is that plenty of companies, including Google, are taking a stand for their users’ personal privacy. Plus, when you use other services like PeopleFinders, you may be able to do more to protect your own privacy, as well.

Image attribution: adiruch na chiangmai – stock.adobe.com

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