Apple, Microsoft and Google attacked for “evil” plugins

A leading Mozilla executive has attacked Google, Apple and Microsoft for installing browser plugins without permission.

Apple, Microsoft and Google attacked for

Asa Dotzler, the co-founder of the Spread Firefox project and a member of Mozilla’s leadership team, claims all three of the “evil” computing giants are installing plugins into Firefox without users’ prior permission.

“Why do Microsoft, Google, Apple, and others think that it is an OK practice to add plug-ins to Firefox when I’m installing their software packages?” Dotzler asks on his blog.

“When I installed iTunes, in order to manage my music collection and sync to my iPod, why did Apple think it was OK to add the iTunes Application Detector plug-in to my Firefox web browser without asking me?

“Why did Microsoft think it was OK to sneak its Windows Live Photo Gallery or Office Live Plug-in for Firefox into my browser (presumably) when I installed Microsoft Office?

“What makes Google think it’s reasonable behaviour for it to slip a Google Update plugin into Firefox when I installed Google Earth or Google Chrome (not sure which one caused this) without asking me first?”

The Mozilla executive claims the unwanted plugins are comparable to viruses. “That is precisely how a Trojan horse operates,” he writes. “These additional pieces of software installed without my consent may not be malicious but the means by which they were installed was sneaky, underhanded, and wrong.”

He urges all three companies to stop installing the plugins immediately. “Microsoft, stop being evil. Apple, stop being evil. Google, stop being evil,” he adds. “It’s really simple. Ask first!”

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