So if you know me a little, you probably know that I’m all in for computer user freedom and having people fully in charge and control of their computing. I’m a free software advocate and I’m very careful about my own computers and digital devices.
One thing that I believe is a bad idea implemented in most of our operating systems or digital devices is auto-update. Automatic updates allow users to keep their software programs updated without having to check for and install available updates manually. The software automatically checks for available updates, and if found, the updates are downloaded and installed without user intervention.
So the user has no idea what is being downloaded, when it is being installed, how does the update work, what will be the effect of the new update. In a perfect world where everyone is good and all programs respect users’ interest, auto-update is a pretty awesome idea but sadly we don’t live in such world.
Automatic updates are bad for privacy and some security aspects. Turning on auto-update on a system puts you in danger of trusting the device manufacturer to behave good. Anything could be contained in the update and the possible harm may not be reversed.
The update could contain a back door and the door can open the way for anyone to sabotage your computing. Universal backdoor is the way to go if you wish to be colonized and dependent and get your device shut down when it suits the vendor.
If you’re using free software, you can study your program and monitor its changes but you’re still vulnerable as a program being free (as in freedom) won’t technically disallow insecurities being implemented on your device but you still have more chance on reversing the changes and/or monitor what is happening to your device.
I understand if many people don’t have enough time or knowledge to keep all their devices up-to-date or verify every update manually but handling updates manually often has more benefits than turning on auto-updates.