Mozilla executive Asa Dotzler has asked Microsoft, Google and Apple to stop installing plug-ins on web browsers without users' permission.
In a blog post, Dotzler, who is the director of community development at Mozilla, said that the trio were exploiting their position as the most trusted and popular software vendors by installing browser plug-ins without first asking for permission.
Dotzler said that installing Apple's iTunes music management software resulted in the automatic installation of iTunes Application Detector plug-in for Firefox. Similarly, when users install Microsoft's Office software, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Office Live plug-ins are also added to Firefox without user permission.
Installing Google Earth or Chrome also installed Google Update plug-in for Firefox without prior user permission.
“In my book, that fits the definition of a trojan horse. Yes, that is precisely how a trojan horse operates. These additional pieces of software installed without my consent may not be malicious but the means by which they were installed was sneaky, underhanded, and wrong,” he said.