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Sneeky Google Toolbar update

Chris Riley [PersonRank 3]

Wednesday, October 18, 2006
12 years ago16,280 views

Just opened IE to have my Google Toolbar slide out and tell me its updated. But the sneeky bit is that towards the bottom it has a checkbox, already ticked, that says "Make Google my default search engine and manage changes."

You have to click OK to get rid of this update message, and if you do that before unchecking the box, I imagine Google becomes your default search engine. Seems a little underhand to me, I've got sceenshots that I'll stick a link to in a sec.

Chris Riley [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

As promised, a screenshot –


cgriley.com/images/gtupdate.jp ...



Anyone else seen this?

Joan Goatse [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Seems to be standard practice with all Google (do no evil) downloads. Try installing the Google Video player (which incidentally adds an unwanted header to video files so Windows Media Player cannot play them). When you finish installing, it pops up a success alert which also has a "Set Google as my default search in Internet Explorer' checkbox (selected by default).

Vittorio Del Percio [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

I got the same some days ago...

victor lenus [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I got one yesterday , dont have the screenshot through because I thought everyone was gwetting the same.
and today onwards , my zone alarm firewall is asking whether google-toolbar-notifier.exe should be allowed to connect to internet, I added it to my blocklist.

Jason [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I guess Google should change its mantra into "Don't be sneaky."

zeebleoop [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

i got the same last night. my default search engine is google so, to me, it was no big deal. i guess if you didn't want google as your default search engine you could just – uncheck the box before clicking ok.

don't know if i'd call it sneaky but they are assuming people are smart enough to read what they're clicking ok to. maybe the mantra should be "don't be naive".

pacificdave [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I don't see how this could bother anyone. When Yahoo or Google does this they're in plain view. Yahoo peeves me off sometimes because they'll require an extra click to remove unwanted features but Google leaves them out in plain site. If you're installing the Google Toolbar then obviously you're going to want to do the bulk of your searches through Google anyways (well most normal web surfers).

As long as they keep all their sneakiness in plain site I don't see what the problem is.

Splasho [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

It's not really whether it's sneaky or not it's whether it's good or bad for users. With this everytime Google updates their toolbar you have to opt-out of having your non-Google search engine converted to Google. If you've opted out once your unlikely to have changed your mind.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Personally, I really dislike those default-on checkboxes. Because opt-in should be an active decision on the user's part. Same goes for forms that automatically have this "send newsletter" box checked when you register... it's bad style.

TonyB [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Yes, I got it as well. I also agree with Philipp on it being bad style.

TonyB

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Off-topic but Chris, do you have anti-virus at all if you are running MSIE sometimes? ;-) Or is the AV application icon hiding at your taskbar.

Chris Riley [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

I have AV running, and its hidden in the taskbar.

Tim Dineen [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I saw it too and also felt it to be in bad judgement. But it probably works for them, and they are up against Microsoft's own manipulations of users. I don't know f having MS as competition makes it fair, the consumer loses in the battles.

TonyB [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

When I installed the IE7 beta, it asked me what search default I wanted. I think it listed MS search first, but it made it clear I had a choice to make. It wasn't buried on a click-through dialog.

Tony

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Thanks Chris, I was sure that the icon was hidden but it was confirmed now.

Splasho [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

IE7 respected my Google preference set in IE6.

Henrique Gusso [PersonRank 2]

12 years ago #

About Phillip's post:

(and allows Google to manage changes, whatever that means)

I think they are talking about the GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe that stays always opened in the background. It's located on:

C:Program FilesGoogleGoogleToolbarNotifier1.2.908.5008

and there's a readme in the folder that says the following:

"GoogleToolbarNotifier is a companion to the Google Toolbar. This
executable is necessary to enable the Search Settings Notifier feature
of the Toolbar. This feature lets you keep Google as your default
search engine and prevents this setting (and others as we add new
features) from being changed without your consent.

To enable or disable this feature, please click the "Settings" button on
your Toolbar and choose "Options." In the "More" section, check or
un-check the box next to "Set and keep Search settings to Google."
As long as this feature remains enabled, GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe
will run silently in the background."

Riku5464 [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

This is indeed true. Windows Defender's picked up the Google Toolbar trying to change to Google as IE's main search website.

Patrick Havens [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

It wasn't selected when I looked a couple days ago. I actually had to select it. (a upgrade from ie6 to ie7 switched it to their search.

So unless they had it set to google before, I don't think it's automatically set that way.

Ian. [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Thanks Henrique, I've just disabled the bleeder.

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