Google is facing an anti-trust case from the European Union. Google has been a target of criticism on a number of occasions with many in the European Parliament particularly fearing that their market position is a threat to competition.
The main accusation is that Google favors their own Google shopping results over cheaper or more relevant products when using their search engine. The situation reminds many of the 2009 ruling against Microsoft for having Internet Explorer pre-installed on new computers. Google is at risk of creating a monopoly, but still search engines like Duckduckgo are carving out a niche for themselves although Google still controls over 90% of the search engine market.
When Microsoft was fined it seemed like the nature of personal computers were going to change but Microsoft is still a market leader and the majority of computers still come with Internet explorer preinstalled. Although Microsoft was fined over half a billion in 2013 for continuing to have Internet Explorer pre-installed on new computers. Despite Microsoft not complying Internet Explorer still lost it market dominance and faces serious competition from other internet browsers. So even if Google are fined for their practice it may not cause any major changes.
What does this mean for you?
It's traditional wisdom that competition benefits consumers. One outcome that could be of benefit is if android phones no longer come pre-installed with a load of unnecassary apps. It's a Google practice that also has been criticised. The majority of users also use the pre-installed apps for typical activities such as email clients and mesaging although there might be better alternatives on offer. Many of the pre-insalled apps are never used but can still be a potential security risk. Users have no choice but to keep the pre-installed apps, to remove them the phone would have be jailbreaked.
It's important that apps are up to date to help protect against software vulnerabilities but users are less inclined to update apps they do not use, potentially leaving them at risk.
ZenMate is a lightweight add on that hides your IP, encrypts your internet traffic and helps you unblock websites and other content. It's a great addition to your browser or smartphone to enhance your security with a minimal system impact.