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Firefox exec condemns ‘evil’ plug-ins

Points finger at Apple, Microsoft and Google


A Firefox executive has singled out Apple, Microsoft and Google for installing browser plug-ins without user consent.

In two separate blog posts Asa Dotzler, a leading member of Firefox parent company Mozilla, identified several plug-ins that were installed without the user’s prior permission when installing software packages from major vendors.

These included: 

  • iTunes Application Detector for Apple iTunes 
  • Microsoft Office Live plug-in with Office 
  • An update program from Google

Dotzler went on to accuse Google, Microsoft, Apple, and ‘any others out there who are doing this’ of being ‘evil’ and insisting that they desist in such practices. 

He added: ‘Firefox and other software can do more to help users deal with this bad behaviour, but we shouldn’t have to for “trustworthy” software vendors like Google, Apple, and Microsoft. These vendors should stop this behaviour and let Mozilla and other software organizations focus on more important usability issues than combating their evil behaviour.’

An easy mistake to make

Which? Computing Editor, Sarah Kidner, said: ‘Many of our readers find they install plug-ins and toolbars without their knowledge. We believe browsers should be the first line of defence where security and privacy is concerned, but companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google should be setting an example in this regard.’

You can find a a guide to removing unwanted plug-ins and toolbars in the January 2011 issue of Which? Computing. Click here to sign-up and get your copy. 

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