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Looking in the directory where the toolbar dll is downloaded automatically show this:
15/02/2002 11:57 401408 GoogleToolbar_en_1.1.53-deleon.dll
25/02/2002 18:51 397312 GoogleToolbar_en_1.1.54-deleon.dll
26/03/2002 15:20 401408 GoogleToolbar_en_1.1.55-deleon.dll
03/06/2002 14:01 413696 GoogleToolbar_en_1.1.57-deleon.dll
It's scary because I was never asked if I wanted this upgrade or not. And you may see that the download date is 03/06/2002 and it was only activated today 21/06/2002. Will we see a google toolbar on the Lavasoft Ad-Aware list of spyware ?
You can see that the file size grow so maybe some new hidden functionality have been implemented.
The RandomForm button now doesn't work like in the previous version.
In older version you where able to fill forms with nonsense data on any website, it was great to fill registration form in one click before downloading some software but now it only enter non speakable garbage and it seems to work only on google.com.
I suspect that there is support for a new DC client but I have to check to be sure :).
Here are some registry keys you may want to play with:
The registry keys listed were causing some serious side-scrolling, so I removed them. If you want them, I'd suggest that you send Roland a Sticky Mail.
[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 7:20 pm (utc) on June 21, 2002]
It's scary because I was never asked if I wanted this upgrade or not. And you may see that the download date is 03/06/2002 and it was only activated today 21/06/2002. Will we see a google toolbar on the Lavasoft Ad-Aware list of spyware?
Now you've got me seriously spooked. I downloaded the toolbar for my Explorer 5.5 on June 2. It was version 1.1.56. I know, because I wrote it down after checking "About Google Toolbar."
I checked today and magically I now have 1.1.57.
Here's what has me spooked. I only use Explorer maybe five minutes per day, and I use it with all ActiveX disabled, all active scripting disabled, and file downloads disabled. Google sidesteps all of this when they update the toolbar. Believe me, I would notice if I was queried before the update. Like I said, I use Explorer five minutes per day, and I'm very conscious that it's vulnerable.
In other words, Google has full access to my hard disk whenever I use Explorer, because the PageRank feature is phoning home to Google all the time. Every time it phones home, Google has the power to do anything at all to my hard disk.
Can anyone else confirm that their toolbar gets updated even when you have all this stuff disabled in Explorer?
Does this qualify as spyware?
I recall seeing the first sentence when "accepting" the download of the toolbar. I believe you are agreeing to install whatever software Google chooses, limited by the restrictions on the website privacy pages. Caveat downloaditor.
"Those who have the toolbar installed agree that Google may scrutinize, download, and store in Google's archive, for future reference and in perpetuity, all files accessible to the toolbar on the user's computer."
Who's at fault? Both Google and Microsoft are at fault. When I set something in IE that says "disable file downloads" I expect this to mean what it says. It's worked okay a couple of times last year in that it stops a certain number of worms and viruses that may be trying to get in. But it doesn't do squat to stop Google's toolbar upgrades. To allow Google downloads like automatic toolbar upgrades, when I've checked everything in that huge security panel even remotely related to preventing this sort of abuse, is definitely a bug or a design flaw in IE.
Both Google and Microsoft are a menace to society. What's wrong with my analysis?
It would be nice if there was a way to get them to purge that log.
What's perhaps more worrisome than the record of sites surfed that's compiled via the toolbar, is the record of search terms you've used. That happens even when you don't have the toolbar.
If you erase your 36-year Google cookie with the unique ID regularly, they still have your (quite often) static IP number. Search terms are a vector into your state of mind at a given point in time. Google shows no interest in periodically purging such data.
Does anyone know of other sites "powered by Google" that are not so rude? I've found three so far:
aol.co.uk - no cookie
netscape.com - harmless cookie
earthlink.com - harmless cookie
I'll tolerate a pop-up or two just to avoid adding my static IP and my search terms to Google's database. I wonder if such "powered by" sites are required to feed the user's IP to Google from their backdoor feed? I know they can't read Google cookies because it's a different domain.
Maybe it's time to ask them whether Google gets this information when they pass along the query.
Google still works fine if you disable cookies (we won't be able to remember your search settings like languages though.)
Also, if use the toolbar without the advanced features enabled, the toolbar is completely inert--it doesn't send any information to Google whatsoever as you surf.
If you are still worried about your privacy, you always have the option of not installing the toolbar. It's an advanced tool that we provide to users, and the opt-in for advanced features keeps most people happy. But if for some reason the toolbar makes you uncomfortable, then by all means don't run it. :)