Despite launching a number of interesting products this year, Lenovo has perhaps got more press time for the things it has done wrong. The Chinese technology conglomerate is back in news, this time for allegedly installing a program on at least some of its refurbished notebook lineup that is programmed to send users’ feedback data to Lenovo. Upon further inspection, the program seems to have an association with a third-party marketing and Web analytics firm.
As per many users’ report, the company ships its factory refurbished laptops with a program called “Lenovo Customer Feedback Program 64” that is scheduled to run every day. According to its description, Lenovo Customer Feedback Program 64 “uploads Customer Feedback Program data to Lenovo.”
Upon further digging, Michael Horowitz of Computerworld found these files in the folder of the aforementioned program: “Lenovo.TVT.CustomerFeedback.Agent.exe.config, Lenovo.TVT.CustomerFeedback.InnovApps.dll, and Lenovo.TVT.CustomerFeedback.OmnitureSiteCatalyst.dll.” As he further pointed out, Omniture, as mentioned in the suffix of one of the files, is an online marketing and Web analytics firm, which suggests that the laptops are tracking and monitoring users’ activities.
On its support website, the largest PC vendor noted that it may include software components that communicate with servers on the Internet. These applications could be on any and every ThinkCentre, ThinkStation, and ThinkPad lineups. One of the applications listed on the website is Lenovo.TVT.CustomerFeedback.Agent.exe.config.
This isn’t the first time Lenovo has been caught shipping what appears to be a spyware on its machines. Earlier this year, Lenovo was found bundling a spyware called “Superfish” on its machines. In August, the company was caught covertly downloading and installing software on its Windows PCs. The program modified the BIOS to force the computer to download its programs upon each login.