HP has been accused of installing spyware onto its customers’ computers without any warning or notification.
HP customers are finding a telemetry client known as “HP Touchpoint Analytics Service” on their computers. The program is said to harvest “telemetry information that is used by HP Touchpoint’s analytical services.” A number of complaints have recently popped up about the quiet installation of the program, as noted by Computerworld.
At this point, it’s not clear whether the program is being uploaded through an HP assistant, or through Windows updates. But users aren’t just upset about the installation itself — the program is apparently slowing down PCs. A number of complaints have popped up on HP’s own support site.
Uninstalling The Software
Though it’s unclear where or why the updates are occurring at this time, ghacks has posted a guide to uninstalling the software. It’s not a long or complicated process, so at least users can remove the program with relative ease.
That being said, HP users have every right to be upset about such a development. And it’s not the first time this has happened.
Computer manufacturer Lenovo recently settled with the FTC after the company was accused of preinstalling software on some laptops “that compromised security protections in order to deliver ads to consumers.”
As the FTC settlement notes: “VisualDiscovery software, developed by a company called Superfish, Inc., was installed on hundreds of thousands of Lenovo laptops. It delivered pop-up ads from the company’s retail partners whenever a user’s cursor hovered over a similar looking product on a website.”
Lenovo settled, and agreed to make a payment of $3.5 million for its role. It’s too early to tell if a similar fate will befall HP, but perhaps further explanation will soon come from either HP or Microsoft on how these updates are being installed — and why.