HP has responded to user complaints over a telemetry app that, they claim, was surreptitiously sneaked onto their HP computers, affecting performance.
HP has pointed out that the app isn't new - it has used the telemetry software since 2014 - and suggested that users can opt-out or uninstall the service at any time. It also anonymises any data that it sends back to HP, the company adds.
The 'HP Touchpoint Analytics Service' "harvests telemetry information that is used by HP Touchpoint's analytical services", according to HP's own information.
But a user on the Bleeping Computer forums claimed that it only emerged in a Windows Update earlier this month: "After the latest batch of Windows updates, about half an hour after installing the last, I noticed that this had been installed on my computer because it showed up in the notes of my Kaspersky, and that it opened the Windows Dump File verifier and ran a disk check and battery test."
While HP claims that the service requires user permission, users have suggested otherwise. Complaints have since flooded the company's own forums, where users have moaned that the software is slowing down their system.
One HP customer wrote: "This CPU gobbling nonsense also cropped up on my desktop machine in the past few days - I noticed the fan was constantly running and looked to see what was causing the load on my system."
Another added: "I noticed my mouse lagging significantly on Chrome, went to Programs & Features in Control Panel on my Windows 7 HP desktop and saw this "HP Touchpoint Analytics Client" was installed on my PC without my permission on 11-17-17."
This isn't the first time the firm has found itself caught up in a spyware scandal. Back in May, it was revealed that HP had been shipping audio drivers with built-in keyloggers since 'at least' Christmas 2015.
Security firm Modzero at the time revealed that the audio driver package, developed and digitally signed by the audio chip manufacturer Conexant, had been poorly implemented, turning the driver "effectively into keylogging spyware".
In a statement to V3, HP said: "HP Touchpoint Analytics is a service we have offered since 2014 as part of HP Support Assistant.
"It collects diagnostic information about hardware performance that is used anonymously. No data is shared with HP unless access is expressly granted. Customers can opt-out or uninstall the service at any time.
"HP Touchpoint Analytics was recently updated and there were no changes to privacy settings as part of this update. We take customer privacy very seriously and act in accordance with our Privacy Statement."
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