How Passport Extension respects your privacy

June 19, 2022

What you see and do on your browser new tab page touches on 2 cornerstones of privacy: what you search for, and the webpages you’re about to load. Each browser’s extension store has different levels of scrutiny applied to the extensions that they accept into the store. Many developers use 3rd-party code for things like analytics, which often means privacy-compromising options such as Google Analytics. Beyond that, they also use many open-source libraries for features they don’t feel like building, and these are oftentimes as trivial as pop-overs or modals or various animations. All of these are allowed with no auditing of the privacy or security implications.

To protect your time and privacy, Passport takes a different approach: load very few external libraries so that Passport is always speedy, and use a privacy-safe analytics solution from Plausible. Plausible is a fast, GDPR-compliant analytics library. Anyone can audit its open-source code. 

Plausible is used in Passport to understand some very basic usage patterns: how many unique users there are across all the browsers that are supported, and how many times they open the extension. There’s a few additional details like your OS and device type, but that’s it. There’s no way to know who you are, even if you have Passport on multiple devices on the same computer. What’s more, your analytics data is entirely stored in the EU where it’s under the world’s strictest privacy laws. 

The Passport Browser Extension privacy policy offers a comprehensive breakdown of what can be done with your data in terms of selling to 3rd parties: we can’t. That’s it. Some competitors have more permissive policies allowing them to use privacy-invading tools like Google Analytics, if they have a valid privacy policy at all. 

As we near the Summer Release with more widgets and premium upgrades, you’ll see that the focus of the extension is entirely about building useful things for your daily life (particularly as we enable privacy-sensitive widgets that use your location, like Weather) – not compromising or selling your data.