A group of software developers is asking Microsoft to remove Ginger from Windows and Mac operating systems because they think it contains harmful and possibly malicious software.
The developers of Ginger have filed a complaint with Microsoft, asking the Redmond giant to take action.
Ginger is a cross-platform free desktop and web browser application for Microsoft’s popular Windows and Linux operating systems.
It was recently acquired by the Redmond-based company, which has since rolled it out on other Windows and Windows-based operating systems as well.
But some users are finding that Ginger’s software can be harmful, and many of them say they’re leaving Ginger for free on the operating systems they use.
This is the story of one such user, who goes by the name, “Ginger,” and who claims to have lost $5,000 worth of data on his computer.
In the complaint, Ginger describes how his computer was infected with a spyware program that “gives out passwords, credit card numbers, and other data to a company that can be used to track your every move.”
Ginger told Ars Technica that he found the spyware after he updated his Windows 8.1 PC to the latest version of the operating system, and that his computer’s antivirus software found traces of the spy.
“After my updates, my computer had a new infection.
The virus didn’t seem to affect my normal internet usage, so I thought it was just a temporary infection,” Ginger told Ars.
Once Ginger’s computer’s security was secured, he began installing the free Ginger app, which he said had a clean and user-friendly interface.
But Ginger claims that the software didn’t do anything to him, and he claims that he lost his passwords and credit card number because the software “fiddled” with his browser settings and the “browser extension.”
“I had no idea that this was the case,” Ginger said.
“After installing Ginger, the browser extension started telling me about cookies and other stuff that I didn’t have permission to see.
I had no way of checking if I had been hit by the malware or not.”
Ginger also told Ars that the free software had also installed a third-party app called Bitdefender, which “did not protect me from the malicious software.”
Ginger added that Bitdefend had been downloaded nearly 4 million times.
The company has since apologized, saying that Ginger and Bitdefenders were “an innocent error.”
“While we were unaware of this incident, we are taking steps to prevent this from happening again,” Bitdefended said in a statement.
Microsoft’s actions against Ginger have drawn attention from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for privacy.
“Microsoft has a history of pushing back against privacy-conscious software,” EFF Senior Policy Analyst John Graham wrote in a blog post.
“And it’s not just Microsoft.
Google and other tech giants have been caught using this same tactic, and they’ve gotten away with it.
Microsoft is no different.
Its decision to not remove Ginger has not only harmed Ginger users, it’s hurt everyone who uses the free and open source software that Ginger provides.”
Graham told Ars he believes Microsoft is attempting to “shut down and shut down and shutdown.”
“There is no way they can let this go on,” he said.
Ginger was among a number of software vendors to file a complaint about Ginger on Monday, saying they “found a serious privacy breach” on their end.
Microsoft has not yet responded to Ars’ request for comment.
While Ginger has a clear-cut problem with privacy, it doesn’t have the resources to remove it, and Microsoft is facing the threat of legal action from its own users who are unhappy about the way Ginger works.
For example, Ginger has an internal Google Chrome extension called “Gig”, which allows users to browse the web anonymously.
Users who download the extension can choose whether to have Google remove it or not, but they’re not actually able to do that themselves.