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«Shinigami Eyes» browser extension to be banned in Norway

The Norwegian Data Protection Authority has issued an advance notification of a ban on processing personal data by the browser extension «Shinigami Eyes», as the processing does not have a legal basis and insufficient information is provided to the data subjects.

- We believe that «Shinigami Eyes» has no legal basis for the processing of personal data, and we therefore intend to impose a ban on the browser extension in Norway, said Director-General Bjørn Erik Thon.

The Norwegian Data Protection Authority received several complaints against the browser extension «Shinigami Eyes», which is available for Chrome and Firefox. The browser extension seeks to highlight whether content and individuals are trans-friendly or transphobic.

Jeopardises freedom of expression

The Norwegian Data Protection Authority has assessed whether the use of the tool could be based on a balancing of interests as the legal basis. We have so far concluded that «Shinigami Eyes» does not have a legal basis for the processing of personal data.

- This case is a matter of principle. Allowed to transpire freely, a practice where individuals are profiled and highlighted as trans-friendly or transphobic based on subjective assessments will have unfortunate consequences for the freedom of expression on the internet. The profiling takes place without any information being provided to the person being profiled. It is very concerning that this takes place covertly, and that the individual in question does not have the opportunity to express their views. There may be several reasons why an individual does not want to be profiled, regardless of which label that is applied, Thon added.

Will inform Mozilla and Google about the final decision

Despite repeated inquiries, the Norwegian Data Protection Authority did not receive any feedback from the developer behind the extension during the investigation of the complaint.

- Once a final decision has been issued, we will therefore communicate our decision to Google and Mozilla, who are the ones making the extension available for download, Thon said. 

The developer behind «Shinigami Eyes» has the right to be heard before a final decision is made. The deadline for making their representations is set to 17 January 2022.