What has changed?
You may have noticed that after a recent update, the AdBlock for Safari Mac app permissions have changed. Maybe you saw the following notification:
Or maybe you discovered the AdBlock Icon extension shows an additional permission in Safari Extensions Preferences after updating the app:
The new permission looks scary. It's meant to! Browser makers want to catch your attention. It's important that you know what access you're granting to any software you install. The AdBlock Icon extension can see all the information displayed on a web page or that you enter in a web form. But don't worry. We (the humans behind AdBlock) don't read that information or use it for any nefarious or sneaky purposes. Learn more about what information we know about you and how we use it.
Why do you need the "Webpage Contents" permission?
What are you changing on web pages I visit?
Great question! The answer comes in two parts.
Part 1: Removing something that was there
All versions of AdBlock (like all ad blockers in general) try to hide ads they can't prevent from being downloaded. To hide an ad, we tweak the web page code that displays it. In other words, we change the page so that it doesn't include downloaded ads.
Part 2: Adding something new
Most versions of AdBlock also tweak the page code to display our whitelist wizard on request. In other words, we change the page to include an element that wasn't originally present. The wizard allows users to interact with AdBlock to fine-tune the exception rule it creates. We added a whitelist wizard to our Mac app in the version 1.15.0 release. The part of the Mac app that displays the wizard is the AdBlock Icon extension, which opens the AdBlock menu in Safari. And that is why AdBlock Icon now needs "Webpage Contents" permission.
Ad Blocking 101 (or, what are "whitelisting," "blacklisting," and "hiding" rules and why should I care?)
Getting started with the AdBlock for Safari app (or, what is the "AdBlock Icon" extension, anyway?)