Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Google Toolbar Tracks User Even When "Disabled"

Ben Edelman, Harvard professor and Google critic, noted the Google Toolbar still transmits data to the firm even when "Disabled." The only way to completely, and truly, disable the function is to completely uninstall the Toolbar. Edelman disabled the toolbar the way most people, especially those without extensive computer knowledge, would think to do it and videotaped it transmitting data back to Google. When caught, Google admitted knowledge of the "bug," but insisted it was an honest mistake and said it only affected older versions. It was expected to release an update sometime last week which would stop the toolbar from sending data back to Google when disabled.

According to reports, the "bug" only affects Internet Explorer sessions, however the Google Toolbar came pre-installed on my machine and I actively disabled it. On several occasions, I found it running in the Task Manager. The system would not allow me to "End Process(es)." I eventually uninstalled it through Control Panel. The only reason I did not do so beforehand is because I didn't want to start making major changes to the computer until I'd had it for a while, for fear of voiding any warranties and return policies, etc.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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