Upload & Sell: Off
From what I can tell Google pushed at least three updates to the Google Nik Collection recently:
version 18.104.22.168 - was released in late October; this was the version that caused the "MSVCP110.dd error" for many users.
version 22.214.171.124 - released around October 30, 2013
version 126.96.36.199 - the current version, was released on November 7, 2013.
Its possible that there was a version 188.8.131.52 update but I didn't notice it.
I'm using version 184.108.40.206 on a Windows computer and all the plug-ins work correctly for me.
I don't see the auto-updating as a big deal but if it bothers you its easy to solve. On a Windows computer you can either use a firewall to block outgoing access to the Google Update executable, or rename the filename extension of the GoogleUpdate.exe file so it wouldn't run. I'm sure you can do the same on a Mac or even drag it to the Trash but I wouldn't advise doing that.
I'm running the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate and the actual Google Nik plug-ins are located at C:\Program Files\Google\Nik Collection\. But if you go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Update\ you will find the GoogleUpdate.exe module, and the Downloads folder containing all the updates that were automatically downloaded and installed on your computer.
To me the C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Update\Downloads folder is the most inefficient aspect since those updates have already been installed yet they remain behind just occupying hard disk space. Each update is approx. 375 MB in size so you're easily wasting over 1GB of hard disk space with all the updates. If you're like me and you don't download files to your OS drive you can safely move the contents of those Downloads sub-folders to another hard drive. All that I've described is on a Windows computer but I'm sure you can use Finder to find the GoogleUpdate module and the Downloads folder on a Mac.
Automatically updating software isn't all that common to me but it occasionally happens. As you already pointed out Google Chrome automatically updates. Adobe AIR and Adobe Flash Player can be configured to update automatically (in fact all Adobe software based on AIR technology) but they differ from Google's software in that when installing them for the first time you are given choices on how you want subsequent updates to be done; automatically or simply notify the user that updates are available.
EDIT: I dug a bit into this and found these uninstall instructions although I'm pretty sure they wouldn't work for Windows since Google Update doesn't show up in the list of installed programs in the Control Panel.
Google Update and Google Updater
I found out the hard way that Google has an autoupdate "feature." I've been a longtime user of several of the Nik plug-ins (especially Silver Efex and Color Efex), but a recent autoupdate has rendered the software essentially unusable. I've been in contact with tech support and they have been helpful in trying to find a work around. I've asked that they simply send me the previous version that worked just fine, but they refused.
If you want to preserve a version of Nik that works for you, you might be want to disable Google updates. I found GUU (ironically, by...Show more →