Tech

Google Earth Mac Updater Scrutinized For Privacy Invasion Issues

By Jomar Teves , Sep 13, 2016 03:10 AM EDT
If you're a Mac user, you might want to disable Google Updater after reading this. (Photo : Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Google Earth's development team nudged out an update for Mac users, but not for the Google Earth program. Rather, it was a plug-in that permitted Google Earth to work in browsers.

You don't remember installing Google Earth or its plugin? You're not alone! Many people have zero recollection, and yet the update was pushed to their machines.

Turns out, when you use a Google software installer for any of its OS X software, the company installs a background software update agent that runs constantly. Didn't realize that? That is a disclosure problem.

When software installs background processes, particularly ones that communicate back to a mothership for whatever reason, there should be a clear explanation of what it does and the option to opt out. Sadly, Google has disregarded this option.

To make things a little clearer:

  • Google secretly installs it without you knowing.
  • It secretly communicates with Google without you knowing.
  • It can't be configured with any graphical program you want to use it on.
  • Worse, it doesn't come with an uninstaller. So you're stuck with it the moment it installs in your Mac.

Individuals thought it was shocking that they should be disabling the Google updater because it's also used for Chrome. Some people were seeing it every 15 minutes. Some would even click Cancel and it would still return several times. Google is not known for keeping secrets, and this is just solid proof.

Based on all of this, It's sensible that Google Chrome users would want to remove the automatic software installer until Google actually starts reaching towards the users affected by this and explains how the software works, including providing more disclosure and a method other via the command line to control its functions.

Mac users are looking for an explanation on why Google is trying to invade their privacy in a very secretive way. Still, there has been no response from the company.

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