Ever since November 15, owners of HP computer systems have been accusing HP itself of personal data syphoning through a security app known as Touchpoint Analytics that gets installed without user consent. On top of this, the app seems to be putting a strain on the system, hogging important resources. Meanwhile, HP had to step forward with an official statement, as more and more users were removing the “intrusive” app.
HP’s VP of Customer Experience Mike Nash wanted to let its customers know that the company takes privacy “super seriously” and clarified that the service is only collecting hardware performance data for which HP asked permission on the initial setup of the system. Moreover, the data is collected locally on the user’s HDD and will be sent with the user’s permission to HP’s servers only if there is a support incident. Nash further dismissed the allegation that the app hogs system resources, reassuring that all the proprietary apps undergo extensive testing before release.
Here is the rest of the official statement:
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.
Laptop Magazine conducted an investigation on this matter and the app did not exhibit any suspicious behavior, so the whole issue looks like a false alarm. However, HP’s customers were probably right to be concerned about the lack of transparency and the hidden contractual clauses they consent to when buying HP-branded systems.