It seems lots of folks have had the same experience -- Google Chrome sneaking in along with a 'security update' for Adobe Flash Player. I tried at least twice, and didn't see any box to uncheck to opt out. Maybe I missed it, but I was looking for it so it must have been fairly well camouflaged.
For fun, I looked up how Adobe's stock has done in the last year. Pretty well, actually. The stock analysts seem to think Adobe's profits will grow as people use the 'cloud' more. (Whatever the cloud is. My rudimentary understanding is that the cloud is a way to substitute something on the internet for your own computer's hard drive. Why anyone would want to trust stuff to a system like that is beyond me. Maybe that's just because I don't understand the cloud, but if Adobe can sneak or trick us into accepting stuff onto our own computers, right under our own noses, why should we think things are more secure out in a cloud somewhere?) Anyway, as long as the stock price is thriving, the bigwigs at Adobe can probably get away with ignoring all the complaints on this thread.
Still, I can't help thinking Adobe has shot itself in the foot on this, and just hasn't noticed the bleeding. If I can't let security updates be installed on Adobe Flash Player, it will soon become a big security hole for my computer -- if it isn't already. Adobe Flash Player with no new security updates is an open door for malware. That's a headache that is way overpriced even if it's free. For a long time I thought Adobe's business model was to charge for the software to create videos and presentations, but to give away the software to watch them. If the free reader and player become a headache, people will eventually learn to uninstall them. When enough of the general public does that, Adobe's pay software will have little value.
So far, all I seem to need Flash Player for is to listen to some -- not all -- the things I want to hear on YouTube. I'll do without. Also, I'll hope Microsoft soon comes up with a substitute for Flash Player that I can use with Internet Explorer, and that Mozilla does the same for Firefox. If those substitutes work reasonably well, antivirus programs may start removing Flash Player and Adobe Reader. Ideally, they won't repear Adobe's mistake and do it without asking. I hope Avast, AVG, Norton, McAfee, and the others all have something that pops up during a scan and asks,
"Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Reader have become security loopholes that are difficult to guard. You can [or already have installed] alternates that work with your browser. Would you like your antivirus program to install those alternates and remove Flash Player and Adobe Reader?"
Thank you for the comments. I'll definitely take your input to the team in charge of this page. Here's a FAQ where I talked about how this is supposed to work and the different options you have while still keeping up to date with security.