Why I Left Trend Micro

February 4, 2020
February 2, 2020
A LEGO® figure of a knight under the sole of a Chuck Taylor™ sneaker by James Pond, courtesy Unsplash I really enjoyed this run with Trend Micro. I think that they're fantastic in the work that they do as security analysts and software providers. It was Trend Micro that alerted me to the constant changes to settings Facebook made on my behalf (without my permission), and they were one of the earliest supporters of my bid to push back against the G***** Services framework. I trusted them to be my Android Device Manager and my G***** Play Protect all in one. However, something went wrong after I upgraded my m8 to Lineage OS 16 (based on Android 9). I had activation issues.
I reached out to Trend Micro over the phone on Christmas Eve in an attempt to troubleshoot this issue. I explained that my device was not showing up in my portal and that the license key I entered was correct. In an attempt to avoid long hold times, I pre-emptively asked the question "Are you sure you're not depending on G***** for anything with regards to sign on?" I don't mind the idea that you wasted my time. I had plenty of it. But lying through your teeth to me ten times hurt. The fact that you don't know how your own app works terrifies me and I decided to jump ship due to this.
There is a disturbing phenomenon known as 'G***** API Creep'. It's when a developer, without knowing it, or seeking shortcuts, incorporates a G***** API or bit of Firebase code into their app that makes it implode once I try to install it. I am going to take a more aggressive approach against companies and developers who continue to rely too much on G***** and do everything in my power to elevate those who do not. All convenience through G***** comes at a price, and quitting it is absolutely hard, but not impossible.
I can't for the love of me understand why so many developers, who are wholly aware of the ills that G***** is capable of and lament its absolute power in the Play Store and elsewhere, choose to side with them. It's the worst kind of Stockholm Syndrome imaginable. I will continue to value your cybersecurity insights and will always be a friend of your newsletter (so long as you don't ask me to come back) because you make great points. You should know the risks that come with depending on someone else's backend. I hope you and other companies reconsider your relationship with G***** in the coming months before it's too late.

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