FTC settles with Lenovo over a built-in snooping software, $3.5 million fine
SAN FRANCISCO - Lenovo, the world's second largest computer manufacturer, has settled with the Federal Trade Commission over charges it shipped some of its laptops preloaded with software that compromised security protections in order to deliver ads to consumers. The company will also pay $3.5 million to 32 states that were part of the settlement.
The VisualDiscovery program caused pop-up ads to appear on the user's screen whenever his or her cursor hovered over a similar-looking product on a website. While only information about websites the user visited was transmitted, the program had the ability to access all of a consumer's sensitive personal information transmitted over the Internet, including login credentials, Social Security numbers, medical information, and financial and payment information, the FTC alleged.