MetaMask is an extension for accessing Ethereum enabled distributed applications, or "Dapps" in your browser!
MetaMask also lets the user create and manage their own identities (via private keys, local client wallet and hardware wallets like Trezor™), so when a Dapp wants to perform a transaction and write to the blockchain, the user gets a secure interface to review the transaction, before approving or rejecting it.
Because it adds functionality to the normal browser context, MetaMask requires the permission to read and write to any webpage. You can always "view the source" of MetaMask the way you do any Chrome extension, or view the source code on Github:
Enables access to:
Extore is a team of professionals who are passionate about creating extensions for web browsers. This devotion also gives us opportunity to appreciate work of other people. We get inspired by useful, open source extensions made by developers all over the world. Our strong belief is that one should share helpful add-ons with others. That’s why we’d like to present you our ever-growing list of favourite extensions that have inspired us. Moreover, as you probably have already learned, sometimes struggling for the best brings an end to the good. Talking about add-ons it often turns out that an upgrade is worse then previous version. Also it can become really tricky to get back to the beloved version of your favourite extension. That’s why we’re going to make not only the latest, but all versions of our favourite (and we hope yours too) add-ons available for download. No more compromises, just stick to the version you really like!