I tried to install a Chrome extension for downloading Facebook video clips, but it requests too many privileges in my opinion:

  • Read and change all your data on the websites you visit
  • Manage your downloads
  • Manage your apps, extensions, and themes

Managing downloads and managing themes and extensions does not seem to be a big deal but why does it want to be able to "read and change all your data on the websites you visit"?

  • "Read and change all data" is required to embed download buttons and such. The manifest allows extensions to run on selected websites only, but low-effort, userscript ports usually ignore that and run on all websites.
    – GiantTree
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 12:01
  • I suspect it's requesting this permission to be able to provide download functionality for FB videos embedded at 3rd party websites, but I can't tell for sure without examining the extension in question. Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


Well, to quote the extension's description, it isn't just for downloading Facebook videos:

  • Download and save videos from any website (not only Facebook videos)
  • (…)
  • Downloads almost from 99% of video hosting websites

So, it makes sense for it to request permision for other websites as well.

Edit: After downloading and unpacking the extension (extensions are just renamed Zip files), I can see that besides functionality for downloading Facebook videos (using code in js/hooks/facebook.js, it has code for downloading VKontakte videos as well as generic video embeds using the <video> tag and in some cases video embedded using a Flash-based player; code for these cases can be found in js/hooks/content.js.

Some of the code in the extension is fairly obfuscated and I haven't bothered analyzing it all, but it appears to be benign.

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