Steam Inventory Helper is a pretty common browser extension that many people install to help them manage their Steam inventory and make it easier to put items up for sale/buy things in a more timely fashion. Those that frequent the Steam Marketplace most likely have this installed. A new update has led the extension to ask users to allow Steam Inventory Helper to “Read and change all your data on the websites that you visit.”
Noticed by reddit users, there is a detailed description by user wartab of what Steam Inventory Helper is actually doing with these permissions. Here is the relevant information:
The code in this file does: Monitor when you are entering the site, where you are coming from on this site, when you are leaving the site, when you are clicking something, when you are moving your mouse (which they even failed to do properly), when you are having focus in an input, and you are pressing a key! It is not monitoring what you type. But when you click something, and it is a link, it will send the link URL to a background script.
Originally, the Steam Inventory Helper developers released an announcement that they would be uploading a fix to remove the permissions altogether. They have since deleted that announcement (archived here), and replaced it with this one.
The Steam Inventory Helper developers are saying that the permissions are solely so they can track information to improve the app in the future. The idea, to them, that they would sell the information to other sites or keylogging what people type, led them to this response in the announcement:
Just wondering, why people talk about keyloggers and sh*t? Selling info to the other sites? Are you crazy? Please google it, how it works. This is ridiculous.
We have reached out to the developers behind Steam Inventory Helper for clarification on what data they are gathering and what exactly it is being used for. If and when we receive word, we will update this article.
Have you used Steam Inventory Helper before? Will you continue to use it? Let us know in the comments below!