HP sneakily deploys spyware on laptops

HP customers around the world have reported that HP has been deploying some sort of telemetry software or “spyware” onto their laptops called HP Touchpoint Analytics Client. 

It was first identified on November 15 and according to reports on several online forums, this telemetry software was pushed out on a recent update, installed without the user’s permission and was continually running in the background. It’s not yet verified whether the software came with the latest Microsoft Windows Updates or through HP’s support assistant process.

The official description of the software states that the program “harvests telemetry information that is used by HP Touchpoint’s analytical services.”

This software apparently slows your system down significantly. A user reported on HP’s customer forum that it used more than 95% CPU usage and his anti-malware software started checking for suspicious activity.

Another user using an HP laptop went to to Reddit saying:

“So today all of a sudden, I’m experiencing a considerable slowdown in my laptop (Pavilion P3V59PA). Once I look for the problem in Task Manager, I found out that the program called HP Touchpoint Analytics Client (and it’s subsequent follow up) constantly jumping the memory usage (~300Mb at a minimum, ~nearly 2Mb at maximum).”

“I don’t remember ever installing this program whatsoever, and in control panel, I found that for some reason this program was silently installed today, without my consent.”

The software is sending data to the company’s server once a day and HP responded to the allegations.

They said that “HP Touchpoint Analytics is a service we have offered since 2014 as part of HP Support Assistant. It anonymously collects diagnostic information about hardware performance. 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 a strict policy, available here.”

It is relatively easy to remove the HP Touchpoint Analytics Client from your computer: Disable the service and uninstall the program completely.

 

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