How to manage the Google Updater for MacOS

If you’ve download and installed Chrome (or any other Google apps) on your MacOS*, you might not be aware of the Google Updater. This calls home on a regular basis and is designed to download Google Chrome updates in the background, without notifying you. Every time software that is updated should always ask for user consent, but this Updater doesn’t do that. But it should and here is why.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force in May 2018, will be the primary law regulating how companies protect EU citizens’ personal data. Under this law, users will generally have stronger rights when processing is based on consent i.e. the right to erase and the right to data portability. If consent isn’t applied, substantial fines are applicable under the GDPR. Google should take note.

How do you check if you have Google Updater

  • Go to Finder > Macintosh HD > Library > LaunchAgents
  • Search for com.google.keystone.agent.plist
  • If you don’t find the above plist, then you don’t need to do anything

How to manage Google Updater

Here are two options you might want to consider. Open Terminal for both and enter the relevant commands:

If you want to have control of when Google apps i.e. Chrome was checked and the update intervals:
defaults read com.google.Keystone.Agent

If you don’t want Google apps i.e. Chrome to do any checks:
defaults write com.google.Keystone.Agent checkInterval 0

*This is applicable to all Mac OS versions, where Google Chrome is installed.

Safe surfing folks!

Julian

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