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Google may lock down access to Chrome's stored passwords to bolster security

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Google's decision to leave stored Chrome passwords unprotected and just a URL away has caused quite a stir. But it appears the company may soon hide your credentials behind at least one new layer of security. The latest Chrominium build for OS X includes an option that requires users to authenticate with their computer's system password before it will allow access to the list of stored passwords. That list – which can be viewed by navigating to chrome://settings/passwords in your browser — contains all of the login / password data you've told Chrome to save on your behalf. But Google has been criticized for not making it clear enough that those credentials can easily be reviewed by anyone with access to your PC.

Chrome staffers have previously argued that securing the list with a password would create "a false sense of security and encourage risky behavior" among users. In essence, the company thinks your computer should be locked down whenever you're not at the keyboard. Clearly Google has been exploring its options, though there's no guarantee the added precaution will make its way to the general releases of Chrome on OS X and Windows.