Every once in awhile a browser plug-in will show up in Firefox whether you gave it permission to be there by accident or maybe without any permission at all. A top Mozilla executive is tired of it and has called on Microsoft, Apple and Google to stop the practice of allowing browser plug-ins to install automatically.
Asa Dotzler, the co-founder of the Spread Firefox project and a member of Mozilla's leadership team, says the big three are 'evil' and their plug-ins are being installed without user permission. Dotzler went off on a bit of a tangent on his blog.
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? 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?
The attack on Google is a little surprising, as the search deal Mozilla has with Google provides most of their income. Even still, he went on to bite the proverbial hand that feeds him.
Google, Microsoft, Apple, RockMelt, and any others out there who are doing this, I'm calling on you to stop this now. If you want to add software to my system, ask me. Sneaking software onto my system that I didn't ask for is evil (precisely in the Google "don't be evil" sense.)
He concluded his rant by saying that Firefox could do more to prevent this type of behavior, but doesn't feel that they should have to waste their energy fighting against companies that should be considered trustworthy. Closing out, he requested one thing of the software companies: "ASK first!"