back to article Google asks browser rival Vivaldi to post uninstall instructions

Google asked rival browser Vivaldi to add uninstall instructions on its website download page – something Google doesn't do itself – after deactivating Vivaldi's advertising account earlier this year. Vivaldi is among the many software vendors that advertise products with the search giant. AdWords customers appear at the top …

  1. MacroRodent Silver badge

    Increased my interest in Vivaldi

    ... as I'm always rooting for the underdog.

    However, isn't Vivaldi one of those browsers that under the hood use the same engine as Google's Chrome?

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Increased my interest in Vivaldi

      Google's Chrome and Vivaldi are both based on the Chromium project. It's an open source project started by Google.

      1. Chris Hills

        Re: Increased my interest in Vivaldi

        Chromium uses Blink which was forked from WebKit which was forked from KHTML, originally made by the KDE project.

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Increased my interest in Vivaldi

      "However, isn't Vivaldi one of those browsers that under the hood use the same engine as Google's Chrome?"

      Yes, it uses the open source Chromium / Blink engine.

      The fact that Google has created a spy wrapper around Blink and calls it Chrome doesn't affect Vivaldi.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Increased my interest in Vivaldi

        Chromium is also a spy wrapper. There are still far too many Google services available.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Increased my interest in Vivaldi

        "The fact that Google has created a spy wrapper around Blink and calls it Chrome doesn't affect Vivaldi."

        Maybe. Maybe Chromium is fine -- I don't have the time or expertise to confirm that, so I take the safer option of just considering Chromium as suspect as Chrome.

    3. mythicalduck

      Re: Increased my interest in Vivaldi

      I noticed recently that my auto-cookie-deleter kept removing google cookies in Firefox, even if I didn't browse anywhere, so I've just moved to Basilisk (which is based on the early 2017 Firefox), but runs off a Gecko-based rendering engine... So not even using Chromium/Blink.

      Google's "Calendar Team" emailed me to say I wasn't using their "official" app, which is odd because I don't know how they knew, as I had ticked the "Don't scan my apps", and I don't link to the Google calendar system (I run my own ownCloud server for calendars)

      Anyway, just waiting to find the right phone replacement to drop Android, then I guess the only Google thing I use is YouTube

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Increased my interest in Vivaldi

        As someone said in a post here today,

        Google know more about you than you do.

        I guess this example proves that.

        They really are a blot on the landscape.

      2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        Re: Increased my interest in Vivaldi

        > Anyway, just waiting to find the right phone replacement to drop Android, then I guess the only Google thing I use is YouTube

        Sony Xperia X re-flashed to run Jolla's Sailfish is your only non-Android, non-IOS smartphone option. It's simple enough for a Reg reader to do, less so for the general public.

      3. Barry Mahon

        Re: Increased my interest in Vivaldi

        Yep, I'm off to Vivaldi, I was an early adopter of Opera, dropped off it when the (admittedly voluntary) support only worked for nerds. But I saw a piece about their privacy stuff and decided that I have had enough of the google monster.

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "Nice browser you've got there... shame if nobody knew it existed"

    Does every developer who uses Blink get the heavies sent round for daring to offer something better than Google's Blink engine in a meh UI with a built-in data slurper.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: "Nice browser you've got there... shame if nobody knew it existed"

      I doubt it. Vivaldi's user base is tiny compared to Chrome's so I don't reckon this is related.

      I've recently stopped using Vivaldi because the team seems to be repeating the Opera mistakes and doing esoteric stuff with a lot of QA problems rather than doing what they originally said they would.

  3. imanidiot Silver badge

    Step one

    Switch off bluetooth, wifi and location when you are not in your home or actively using it. Saves on battery but more importantly makes you much harder to track. Also, take the time to dig around google's privacy settings pages and disable everything. There's more than one page and some of them are redundant, meaning switching off something on one page doesn't work, you have to do it on all pages. I use an Android mobile and started using Gmail when they weren't yet so evil so it's hard to get around using Googly services, but at least the amount of tracking can be limited. But you have to take the time to opt out of anything you can and hope with crossed fingers they actually honor that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Step one

      I would never open a gmail account now simply because having an Android phone + using gmail as a primary account gives too too much info to Google. Same as searching with Google + using gmail gives too much info to Google.

      1. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: Step one

        "never open a gmail account now"

        Don't be silly. I have at least 30 of them.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Step one

        What illegal activities are you up-to to make you care?

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Step one

          Do you have curtains in your windows, AC? If so, what have you got to hide?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Curtains?

            What's that?

            And if my neighbors are uncomfortable with what they're seeing though my windows, maybe they should look elsewhere?

            1. terrythetech
              Devil

              Re: Curtains?

              However, the local burglars will enjoy seeing your valuables, and how easy they are to access.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Step one

      You can always run Tor on an android to anonymise yourself, Ihaven't tried it but have a look at ;

      https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/anonymous-android-apps-orbot-orwall-orweb/

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: Step one

        "You can always run Tor on an android to anonymise yourself, Ihaven't tried it"

        Tor on Android is fairly awful.

        And doesn't really protect you from Google's tracking. If everything you do at the application layer contains a tracking code then it doesn't really matter what the transport and session layer is.

    3. teebie

      Re: Step one

      For all that google are great at remembering everything anyone has ever done they somehow keep forgetting the restricted privacy settings I enter

      1. Adam 1 Silver badge

        Re: Step one

        > For all that google are great at remembering everything anyone has ever done they somehow keep forgetting the restricted privacy settings I enter

        Upvoted. Partly because I appreciate the irony you point out, but if I'm honest, it is mainly because there's a part of me that hopes that whatever google analytics beacon is tracking my upvote and downvote patterns may hopefully get the hint.

    4. Fred Dibnah
      Coat

      Step 2.0

      Don't take your phone with you when you go out, or if you must, turn it off when you're not using it. Has the side benefit of preventing social media checking every few minutes.

      Mine's the cloak, plus the top hat and cane.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Step 2.0

        ...and store it in an antistatic bag.

    5. Tinslave_the_Barelegged Silver badge

      Re: Step one

      > Also, take the time to dig around google's privacy settings pages and disable everything.

      Also add a recurring diary entry to check again every few months, in case they unilaterally change the rules and/or an "update" modifies your settings.

    6. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Step one

      Switch off bluetooth, wifi and location when you are not in your home or actively using it.

      Time to take off that tin-foil hat: Bluetooth isn't really suitable for tracking and it isn't really necessary: the phone masts give anyone all the data they need.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Step one

        Bluetooth is sometimes used for short range tracking, to detect if customers get close to certain displays for instance. I certainly wouldn't trust it to NOT be used in any case.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    another 'Google is Evil' example

    Yet people love them...

    For the life of me, I can't understand why anything coming from Google is used by anyone?????

    Granted there are some bits that are extreemly hard to avoid but using their OS('s) and Advertising data collection system knows more about you than you do.

    Big Brother in all but name.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: another 'Google is Evil' example

      To be honest I am lazy and I can't find anything like Ask Jeeves anymore (I used to like that way of searching where you search by asking a question).

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: another 'Google is Evil' example

        I used to like that way of searching where you search by asking a question

        You can do that on pretty much any search engine though. I don't recall Ask Jeeves being particularly good at either recognising or answering said question accurately. Certainly no more so than Google is today that warrants me missing it.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: another 'Google is Evil' example

          hmm I completly forgot they made everything able to recognise search queries in their form for the various IOT home devices, I'll have to give it another go.

          Ask Jeeves for me used to be brilliant, however this was about 14 years ago when Lycos was my second go to search engine.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: another 'Google is Evil' example

            Ask Jeeves for me used to be brilliant, however this was about 14 years ago when Lycos was my second go to search engine

            Never managed to make Jeeves work properly for me. Back in the day, my usual search engines were Altavista or Metacrawler. The simple use of "+", "-" and "quotes around phrases" was a revelation (was it actually introduced by Altavista?)

            M.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: another 'Google is Evil' example

              Ask Jeeves?

              Hi Jeeves, how do I stop you recommending a Goldfish Credit Card with every single search?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: another 'Google is Evil' example

      Apple really are no better, no Facebook, nor Microsoft, Yahoo or pretty much everyone else.

      The only difference is what you get for giving up your data. Apple will give you nothing, infact charge you a premium AND still take your data, Microsoft don't really give much, Facebook either, at least with Google, you get quite a decent set of offerings from photo store, gmail, drive, maps etc.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: another 'Google is Evil' example

      For the life of me, I can't understand why anything coming from Google is used by anyone?????

      Possibly because for the most part it actually works, and does so without too much effort on the user's part? Joe Bloggs either doesn't care or doesn't understand (not quite sure which - possibly both) about what Google does or doesn't do with their data and simply sees the convenience of being able to browse using a fairly decent browser, to use email anywhere, to have their photographs synchronised everywhere, to be able to contact people easily on whatever SM platform they prefer.

      Joe Bloggs rarely feels even slightly uncomfortable when something they do in one context suddenly appears in another and when you tell him that the reason that happens is because company 'a' passed data about his actions in one place to company 'b', who then targetted him with advertising in another place the usual reaction is "meh".

      AC because at the place where I work, central IT does MITM with https. I've tried explaining to people that the padlock which shows when they log into their bank at lunch break does not mean they have a secure connection with the bank, just a secure connection with work's proxy and that IT can potentially log and see everything they do online, including usernames, passwords and potentially sensitive information such as bank statements and that whether or not you trust IT do be sensible with these logs, what happens if there's a breach and the logs are stolen, and "meh" is exactly the reaction I get, followed by placing an Amazon order for a couple of hundred quid.

      1. trolleybus

        Re: another 'Google is Evil' example

        "AC because at the place where I work, central IT does MITM with https. I've tried explaining to people that the padlock which shows when they log into their bank at lunch break does not mean they have a secure connection with the bank, just a secure connection with work's proxy and that IT can potentially log and see everything they do online, including usernames, passwords and potentially sensitive information such as bank statements and that whether or not you trust IT do be sensible with these logs, what happens if there's a breach and the logs are stolen, and "meh" is exactly the reaction I get, followed by placing an Amazon order for a couple of hundred quid."

        The web filter I'm most familiar with, Smoothwall, has a builtin category of sites, mostly banking, which are exempted from https mitm inspection. Sure, you have to trust your IT folks not to override this but I'd have thought most companies other than those needing very high security would realise that it's in everyone's interest to allow their employees this amout of privacy.

      2. AK565

        Re: another 'Google is Evil' example

        "Possibly because for the most part it actually works, ... Joe Bloggs ... simply sees the convenience..."

        IMO, this is an important bit that doesn't get enough attention. People often work within parameters they do not set. Often the time and energy involved exceeds what is available. Yeah, I've downloaded, installed, and troubleshot Ubuntu on my laptops. I can use apt-get fairly well. Ask me if I can get a calendar to work across all my devices, including my android phone and tablet.

        Much as the thought makes me cringe, I'm actually toying with going all Google or all Apple because I simply don't have the discretionary time & energy to spend getting shit to work. This is where Google and Apple excel. Their shit simply works. I need to make ONE entry into ONE calendar when I book a freelance gig, NOT be asked anything by my software, and have it show up on EVERY device because I do NOT choose which device I have at hand when booking a gig or checking my availability. I need to be able to start an invoice on one device and continue it on another.

        Most of my colleagues use Apple. I ask why and the answer is always variations of, "It just works."

  5. Teiwaz Silver badge
    Joke

    Uninstall Instructions

    Isn't that what package managers are for?

    What's a 'windows'?

    1. Def Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Uninstall Instructions

      What's a 'windows'?

      It's what you use to do real work when you get bored of compiling kernels.

      1. AdamWill

        Re: Uninstall Instructions

        Def: "It's what you use to do real work when you get bored of compiling kernels."

        2004 called, it wants its burn back.

        1. Def Silver badge

          Re: Uninstall Instructions

          2004 called, it wants its burn back.

          Do you irony much?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Joke

          Re: Uninstall Instructions

          "2004 called, it wants its burn back."

          That was the year of the Linux desktop wasn't it?

    2. Dr Mantis Toboggan
      FAIL

      Re: Uninstall Instructions

      And of you read the reply, uninstall instructions on a help PR support page are just fine, guess what, I just checked and chrome complies with that, so this if usual fake news from the usual suspects....

  6. asdfasdfasdf2015

    "Install itself on only one browser per download"

    but it is a browser!

  7. Alan Sharkey

    Email?

    I use Vivaldi a lot and I've never seen the email that it is supposed to provide.

    Alan

    1. John 110

      Re: Email?

      If you go to vivaldi.net there's a wee link to webmail at the top. Once you've registered, you can use your client of choice with IMAP or POP to access the mail.

      Or is that not what you mean? Are you looking for a (proper) Opera-like built in client?

  8. VinceH Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Optional

    "You're always known, because you're always logged in."

    No, I'm not.

    On a computer, I log in for specific purposes, and when I am done I log out again. Oh my phone, I sometimes remain logged in for longer, but I do log back out again eventually.

    Although when I tried to do so the other day I discovered I couldn't. There is no 'log-out' option that I've found on a phone other than to "remove" the Google account, but it now won't let me do that. (My "administrator" says no, apparently). So I promptly logged in on the PC and kicked the phone off the account from there.

    Now I seem to have an alert that I can't get rid of - "Google Play services - Account Action Required - <my registered email>"

    The account action that is required? AFAICS, it just wants me to sign in.

    Go to hell, you bastards.

    1. The obvious
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Optional

      In true pantomime style OH, YES YOU ARE!!!!

      Because even when you're not logged in, the all seeing googly eye knows who you are and what you're doing (you dirty sod!)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As time goes on

    I'm starting to hate Google more and more.

    1. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: As time goes on

      "I'm starting to hate Google more and more"

      Lol - bit slow aren't we?

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: As time goes on

      I'm starting to hate Google more and more.

      They're getting more like the government every day.

      You dislike them, dislike what they do 'in your name' and think most of the decisions they make are stupid and how they make a note of everything you do.

      1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        Re: As time goes on

        I'm starting to hate Google more and more...They're getting more like the government every day.

        Don't waste all your hate on Google. Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, credit card processors, cable companies, credit bureaus, and many more are all in the tracking business, and most are more opaque and aggressive than Google.

        Re government -- private companies' surveillance systems are far less constrained than those of most any democratic government, because we click away our rights. It's probably just a matter of time before .govs adopt the same model. Before you can get a driver's license, passport, police or fire response, board a plane, pay your taxes, etc. you'll have to agree to a Google-style 30-page TOS that waives all of those pesky "rights" and "freedoms" that prevent Big Bro from keeping us under control safe from terrorists.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As time goes on

          You of course forgot apple, ironically laughing all the way to the bank, not only selling all the same details as the others, but charging a premium for their products too, and creating a reality shield that actually has their believers oblivious to what's going on. They even refuse to read the apple privacy policy for fear of finding out things that they don't want to know....

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: As time goes on

        "They're getting more like the government every day."

        In the US, there is very little difference between the government and large corporations.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As time goes on

        I'm starting to hate Google more and more.

        They're getting more like the government every day.

        Where do you think Google came from? Two young guys at Stanford had the capital to build the company? NSA etc. saw the pothential and made sure they were bankrolled. they are the govt...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As time goes on

      That's clearly the objective of this fake news. Its easy to work this out.

      1/ read the screenshot of the reply and read the requirements for uninstall instructions

      2/ go to chrome download website and clearly see google DO actually meet their own requirements

      3/ wonder what the hidden agenda is

      4/ wonder why there are so many dumb rabid google haters here that don't bother fact checking and just let into whatever the baiters want them to believe.

  10. Badvok

    "Erm, just like Google doesn't."

    Andrew why did you post the link to Chrome install page rather than an advert for Chrome? I thought the article was talking about adverts.

    Interestingly, I turned my ad-blocker off in Firefox for a few minutes and could not get one single advert for Chrome to appear across a number of sites, so I'm not sure how you verified that Google don't follow their own rules in adverts.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: "Erm, just like Google doesn't."

      Came up for me over two browsers (one of them chrome) by searching for "chrome download" straight away. Nothing on the page itself is an uninstall guide but there is a terms & conditions link in the page footer.

      Ad blockers also don't affect these Paid search ads at the top of the page.

  11. Tubz

    Sooner or later Google will drop itself in it and no amount of money, lawyers or lobbying is going to save it from the wrath of regulators and big fat fine, hats the only way to hurt them in the bank balance !

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Yeah, but by then Google will have slurped up more personal data than the NSA and Sergey Brin will have moved himself out of any country's jurisdiction, probably to a volcano lair in the middle of the Pacific.

    2. The obvious

      re: Sooner or later

      I'm pretty sure that with the goo's AI plans that it won't be hugely long before they ARE the government (if they aren't already in all but name...)

  12. ratfox Silver badge

    Meanwhile, governments are explicitly asking Google (among others) to police the internet, hide content encouraging terrorism/hate speech/copyright violations.

    We're on a very thin path, and we don't know where it's going.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      "We're on a very thin path, and we don't know where it's going."

      Of course we know where it's going. We have copious history lessons that make it very, very clear. The only question is if we'll be be able to get off the path before we get there.

    2. Captain DaFt

      We're on a very thin path, and we don't know where it's going.

      Hint: Does what we're in resemble a hand basket?

  13. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    What about Brave

    If Vivaldi annoys them what do they think about Brave? Brave is very much privacy centered, I think more so than Vivaldi. But that might be perception or splitting hairs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about Brave

      Thanks for this comment - I am now trialling Brave.

      I woulda liked an updated Opera 12 with email, RSS and all the bells and whistles that they killed off built in but, ain't gonna happen, I know. Wanted to like Vivaldi but when is it going to get there?

  14. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  15. DougS Silver badge

    Do as we say, not as we do

    After all, there's only room for one evil overlord.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Do as we say, not as we do

      Two thumbs down? I guess there are still Google fanboys bravely defending their honor with downvotes!

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