Software Trust #1: Honesty Is The Only Policy

When a user installs a product on his or her machine, a degree of trust is given to that application, and in return that application is required to meet some expectations. This series explores these expectations.

Apple seam to have taken to distributing new products  through their Apple Software Update mechanism which in principle I have no problem with, if a user is interested in your existing product, then he or she may be interested in your new ones too, however it’s not safe to assume this is always the case.

As a computer user I feel it is my right to decide what software is installed on my machine. Apple Software Update violates this right by downloading and installing new products (Safari for example) by default. My problem with this is that any user who allows the updates to be installed without first scanning the list of updates will implicitly allow the installation of a new piece of software.

I consider an update to be

a piece of software that augments the functionality of an existing piece of software.

By this definition Safari is not an update. 

By distributing new software through an update mechanism, without first obtaining explicit consent from the user, the trust given to the application by the user has been violated because the application has taken away the users right to  make an informed choice about whether new products are installed by hiding them amongst updates for other products which are more likely to be installed.


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