Whenever you're on any kind of device, you expect to have a certain level of privacy, but unfortunately for a number of HP customers they feel as if their device privacy has just been violated. Numerous reports and accounts from HP customers have surfaced from claiming that HP is installing spyware onto their PCs and laptops without user permission.
The software is called “HP Touchpoint Analytics Client” and it's been under the radar until it was discovered on November 15th. The official description says that it contains "the tools you need to ensure all your managed devices' security — and brings you greater peace of mind." It seemingly was a replacement to the HP Touchpoint Manager, which was self-managed. The software is installing itself onto customer’s computers without their permission and the customers say that it’s messing with their systems.
Some have said that it’s actually slowing down their computers. One complaint claims “It's been making my computer work so hard I can hear it like cranking away and the light in the back of my computer is flashing rapidly in-tune with the cranking. In Task Manager I can see it starting and stopping numerous applications.”
Though the driver can be removed without much trouble, it’s still very concerning that manufacturer's would be installing software without users' consent. And this unfortunately isn’t only unique to HP either. For instance, Lenovo just had to settled a 3.5 million fine for preinstalling adware onto laptops without consent.
It isn’t entirely clear how the new driver is being installed. It’s possible that it came from the latest Windows updates or through HP and support assistant processes. Nonetheless, their customers are understandably feeling violated, one user saying that "I understand that it hoovers all sorts of telemetry data — and I am not willing to share too much of it really, definitely not without my knowledge." I think most of us feel the same way.