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Adobe's unethical opt-out marketing procedures (McAfee install)

New Here ,
Aug 21, 2018 Aug 21, 2018

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Hi Adobe

You have received regular complaints from customers about users accidentally downloading McAfee when downloading an update to Flash player.

In response, you have claimed that ad blockers seem to be to blame, but actually, it is Adobe's poor, unethical marketing practices that require users to 'opt out' of installing McAfee bloatware every time they download a Flash update. If you gave your users an ounce of credit that they might want to actually choose what they were installing on their personal devices, you would accept that opt-out options are deceptive, sneaky, and ethically wrong methods of making a quick buck.

You are a huge multinational corporation with enormous success on a global scale. You don't need to stoop to these sorts of tactics. Build some trust from your customers by treating us as people, not just money trees. Respond to overwhelming and ongoing feedback about these practices and do something about it!

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 21, 2018 Aug 21, 2018

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For better or worse, the bundled offers pay the bills.  I've posted extensive explanations which you can find in my activity history, but the bottom line is that while Flash Player is free, Adobe is a for-profit corporation.

While I'd love to live in a post-scarcity Start Trek style meritocracy, that day seems very remote.  In the meantime, we don't have the luxury of just spending money without generating income, and maintaining and distributing Flash Player is a tremendously complex and expensive undertaking.

At the end of the day, we pay business experts to research, identify and implement the most effective business strategy, and this is hands-down the approach that yields the best results.  It’s also the case that those bundled offers keep me employed, and it would be disingenuous to just blame it on the business people.

The truth is, a sufficient number of people find enough value in the bundled offers that they ultimately spend money with those sponsors, who in turn see value in partnering with us, which in turn keeps us supplied with engineers, servers, bandwidth and coffee.  It’s an imperfect solution for an imperfect world.

That said, you actually *do* have a few options at your disposal in terms of avoiding this prompt:

1.) Enable automatic updates. 

You do not get prompted for background updates.  We actually forego the revenue opportunity to ensure that you're always updated with the latest security patches.

2.) Use Google Chrome or Internet Explorer/Edge on Windows 8 and higher

These browser partners contribute directly to the Flash ecosystem in multiple ways, and distribute Flash Player as built-in components of their browsers.  There's nothing separate to download or install, and Flash Player is automatically kept updated via either the Chrome updater or Windows Update, respectively.

3.) Uninstall Flash Player

While probably not the optimal answer, you can always opt-out of participating in the ecosystem. 

I've included links to our uninstallers below, for your convenience:

Uninstall Flash Player - Mac:

https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/uninstall-flash-player-mac-os.html

Uninstall Flash Player - Windows:

https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/uninstall-flash-player-windows.html

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New Here ,
Oct 14, 2018 Oct 14, 2018

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It would be nice if the wording for the automatic background update option made it clear that no other software would be installed. However, I looked at what you currently have, "Allow Adobe to install updates (recommended)" and I don't have a great suggestion. "Allow Adobe to install Flash updates (recommended)"? But that doesn't really make it clear either. I guess people will just need to find this answer?

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 15, 2018 Oct 15, 2018

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"Allow Adobe to install Flash updates (recommended)"

This options is for Background Updates, where Flash Player updates silently in the background with no user interaction (no notification, etc, similar to how Chrome and Firefox update automatically).  Background Updates ONLY update Flash Player and do NOT include any 3rd party offerings.

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