I recommend password managers. I think for the vast majority of people they are a very good idea, and one of the best steps you can make as you try to live a more secure online life.
But things get a little tricky if you’re an established password manager vendor, and people can’t install your software.
That’s the challenge facing Dashlane right now.
You would expect the Dashlane folks to be riding on a high right now, with interest from lots of new potential customers, after they took out a full-page ad on the back page of the New York Times Business section to promote their new brand, and an ad for their password manager was broadcast during the Super Bowl.
That must have cost them a pretty penny.
You can download Dashlane’s software from the official website, of course. But what you can’t do right now is find Dashlane’s browser extension in either the Chrome web store or Firefox add-ons library. And for the greatest ease-of-use, most people will probably appreciate having their password manager integrate with their web browser.
In short, there’s a problem.
And, unlike the recent incident with the LastPass browser extension, this isn’t a case of the password manager’s developers accidentally deleting their plugin from the Chrome web store.
According to a message posted by Dashlane’s senior engineering manager Thomas Guillory, it was Google which removed the extension citing a data privacy concern over permissions required by the password manager to do its job.
Our extension (Dashlane Password Manager, 3M+ users… has been removed from the store on Saturday morning.
The reason invoked is User Data Privacy / Use of Permissions. Indeed we are using a very powerful set permissions, but they are needed for Dashlane to work on everywhere. However we are in the dark for the next steps:
- We don’t know exactly what permission is causing the problem. Can you be more specific and provide assistance to resolve the issue?
- The extension has been taken down very quickly. We received a first email on Friday (stating that we have 7 days to fix the issue). We reacted instantly by filling the permission justification form and pushing a new version. This apparently had no effect, the extension has been removed 24h hours after. Can you reinstate the extension while we are discussing the issue?
Thanks ahead for your help: we are bringing thousands of new people daily to our extension, and the experience is broken for them at the moment.
Frustrating for Dashlane, frustrating for Dashlane’s users.
It’s important to remember, of course, that the only affected users are those who are trying to install the Dashlane extension into their Chrome browser for the first time. Users that already have the Dashlane extension for Chrome installed and running are not impacted.
Dashlane says it is working on the issue, and is reminded users that they can still install the extension into alternative browsers (Safari, Firefox, or Edge) by the following the instructions it has made available in this knowledgebase article.
Update: The Dashlane extension for Google Chrome is back in the Chrome web store.