Hover Zoom and data collection
Hover Zoom 4.27 has been released on December 17th 2013. Among new features and bug fixes, this version added a script issued from a partnership with a marketing company. A user published the script on GitHub and reported it on Reddit, claiming that Hover Zoom was infected with malware. Although he never claimed he was 100% sure this was malware, reactions from the community were extremely negative and resentful. Some users said that the script collected sensitive data such as passwords and banking information. This led to hundreds of 1-star reviews on Hover Zoomís Chrome Web Store page.
This script is not malware.
Your personal data was not collected.
There is no need to change your passwords.
This partnership was made with a trustful american company who has owned extensions in the past and has always been open about its methods and policies. The collected data is completely anonymous and is used for market research purposes only. The form data collection was designed to collect anonymous form data used to determine demographics. This is an accepted and very common practice in internet software nowadays. Lots of products and companies rely on this monetization system.
Techs at the marketing company are working on a simplified version of the script, without form data collection. In the meantime, I have released Hover Zoom 4.28, which does not come with the script.
On a side note, I would like to say that I started Hover Zoom as a hobby three years ago, and I still consider it a hobby. Iím not a businessman, Iím a software developer. Hover Zoom happened to be quite successful, so business offers began to come. I chose to accept those which seemed serious, respectful of users private data and which I felt would not degrade their experience. Since I understood that some users may have concerns about this, I added an option to disable data collection (most software developers do not even bother allowing this). I may not have always handled everything in the smartest way, maybe I hurt some usersí feelings and Iím sorry for that, but I did nothing that put your private data at risk.
Author of Hover Zoom