Your browser may require AdBlock to ask for permission to "read and change all your data on the websites you visit." Or, you may see a message like this when you install AdBlock: "AdBlock can read, modify, and transmit content from all web pages. This could include sensitive information like passwords, phone numbers, and credit cards." These warnings sound scary, and they're meant to be. You should be aware of what the extensions you install can do.
What permissions does AdBlock need?
These are the permissions AdBlock requires to work. The exact wording may be different depending on your browser.
"Read and change all the data on the websites you visit"
The access you grant us does not mean that we will track your browsing history, capture your passwords and bank account numbers, or secretly change data you submit on a web form. This is what it does mean:
- See every page you open. We need this permission so that AdBlock can work on any site and every page you visit.
- Read the data on the web page. We need this permission to find the ads among the other content on a page.
- Change the data on the page. We need this permission to change the page by blocking or hiding ads.
This is your browser's way of asking for permission to send data about a page back to our servers, where some of AdBlock's functionality is hosted.
We don't request these permissions because we want to pry into your life. We request the permissions because we need them to block and hide ads on the web pages you visit. Lifehacker has a nice article on what those browser permissions really mean and how much you should worry about giving them.
That said, we want you to know that we do collect some information about your browser and AdBlock, not about you personally:
We get statistics from Google Analytics and the AdBlock extension that tell us, for example, the language your browser is set to and the country you're in. None of the information that we collect is personally identifiable. If you want to prevent us from seeing this information anyway, you can subscribe to the EasyPrivacy filter list in AdBlock's options.
Troubleshooting information you send us
If you provide debugging information as part of troubleshooting an issue, AdBlock tells us your operating system version, which browser you're using and its version, how long it's been since you installed AdBlock, which version of AdBlock you're using, which options you have set, which filter lists you're subscribed to, any custom filters you've added, and (if you give us permission to collect it) which extensions you have installed and whether they're enabled.
You can read this information yourself to see what you're giving us. Open AdBlock's options and on the SUPPORT tab, click here in the sentence "Have our team requested some debug info? Click here for that!"
Troubleshooting information you can allow the extension to send us
If you have enabled the option to Allow AdBlock to collect anonymous filter list usage and data, we get a subset of the same data that's contained in the debugging information without your having to send it to us.
You're right to be wary, absolutely. You should never install extensions that ask for more permissions than you are comfortable with, unless you trust the author(s). AdBlock is the most popular extension for Chrome and Safari, partly because we care about our users. We hope you'll trust us. If you're ever concerned, just ask us! :)
By the way, if we ever release a new feature that requires additional permissions, your browser will alert you to that fact. Some browsers such as Chrome even disable extensions that request additional permissions. In those cases you must specifically grant the new permission by re-enabling the extension.
Note: If your browser keeps showing you the "new permissions" alert, uninstalling and reinstalling the extension should fix it.