HP pushes back on spyware allegations

HP is pushing back on allegations that a program it installs on its PCs is spyware.

HP recently came under fire over allegations that it had begun installing a spyware program on its laptops. The program in question, called HP Touchpoint Analytics, was the subject of complaints from users, who claimed that the program was silently installed without permission and began eating up system resources with odd behavior. A description of the program says that it "harvests telemetry information that is used by HP Touchpoint's analytical services."

In a statement to Laptop Mag, HP has now pushed back on the claim that Touchpoint Analytics is spyware, noting that it has been shipping the same software on laptops since 2014 as part of its Support Assistant software. The only thing that has changed, HP says, is that it has a new name. Further, HP claims the program collects anonymous information on how the laptop's hardware performs, and that information is only shared with HP if you opt in to sharing on setup. Otherwise, it's stored as a log file on your machine, allowing HP tech support to help diagnose problems if you give them permission to access the logs.

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.

In light of Lenovo's troubles with its own recent adware controversy, PC users are rightly hyper aware of preinstalled programs from manufacturers. If HP's explanation is accurate, then TouchPoint Analytics is likely harmless. Still, if the program is to blame performance issues with some users' machines, it poses a potential problem. Fortunately, HP TouchPoint Analytics can be easily removed via the apps screen in Windows 10's settings. Just find "TouchPoint Analytics Client" and choose "Uninstall."