What is this? What does the "helper tool" do and do I really need it to use the Flash Player properly?
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"Helper Tool" is terminology used by Apple that cannot be changed in the installer/uninstaller app. It doesn't install anything malicious. The term "Helper Tool" has been used for several years now.
That is just one part of the answer. It is correct however, the message comes from an action to install the auto-updater. So Adobe forces Flash-users to opt-in that function in stead of asking for it. An opt-out should be the default regardless how much "caring" Adobe is for its users. Fiddling around with root priveledges without questions and alternatives is not how modern software developers should behave.