HP or Microsoft have been caught with its pants on fire. One of the world's leading PC manufacturers has been installing telemetry-gathering software on its Windows 10 PCs. This has been happening without user permission and allows the company to gather data.
At this point it is unclear if it was HP that sent out the software, or Microsoft. It could have been both companies, but there is now pressure for answers to be given. HP users have reported the “HP TouchPoint Analytics Client” is connecting daily and uploading PC data to the company's servers.
Considering the information is heading to HP's servers, the company is the one taking the blame at the moment. However, if Microsoft did help the company then it will be under pressure. Since launching Windows 10, Redmond has been criticized for gathering data through the platform.
The problem seems to have started when HP removed its Touchpoint Manager tool and added a new Touchpoint Analytics Service. The updated service was shipped through Windows Update and put on machines automatically. Users are concerned because they were not asked permission through the process.
As well as collecting system data, the new software is also said to be slowing down machines. HP says does not say anything about privacy concerns, but says the Touchpoint Manager has indeed been replaced:
“The HP Touchpoint Manager technology is now being delivered as a part of HP Device as a Service (DaaS) Analytics and Proactive Management capabilities. Therefore, HP is discontinuing the self-managed HP Touchpoint Manager solution. From helping you enforce a mobile security policy to wiping a device, HP Touchpoint Manager features the tools you need to ensure all your managed devices' security—and brings you greater peace of mind,” the company explains.
This is just another example of the decisions tech companies have taken out of customers' hands. It is not just Microsoft or HP, you can also throw Amazon, Facebook, and Google, and numerous more under the same banner.
Companies have decided they have the right to spy on users through every aspect of their online life. They try to justify this in various ways, such as for advertising. However, the truth is, companies see you as a simply commodity, a way to make more money.