Mozilla Exec. Criticizes Google, Microsoft, Apple For Hidden Plugin Installs

A senior executive at Mozilla - creators of the Firefox browser - attacks Google, Microsoft and Apple for the hidden plugins they install in to Firefox without users knowledge. Usually attached to upgrades, the installer of some times what they see as much needed add ons, are getting more than what they have asked for.

"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?" asked Asa Dotzler, the co-founder of the Spread Firefox project and a member of Mozilla's leadership team.

"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 their 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 behavior for them to slip a Google Update plug-in into Firefox when I installed Google Earth or Google Chrome (not sure which one caused this) without asking me first?" Dotzler noted.

He called on the companies to stop this procedure and noted Firefox can help more too, but thought they should not have to guard against such large and respectable companies from doing things usually the norm of disreputable firms.

For an example of problems - read the article about the scam Twitter Profile Viewer app being passed around.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.