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FTC finalizes settlement with Lenovo, resolves security infringement case involving U.S. laptops

By Mark Iandolo | Jan 16, 2018

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Jan 2 that it has finalized a settlement with Lenovo Inc., resolving allegations the company’s laptops with pre-loaded software that harmed consumers.

In August 2014, Lenovo launched a strategy in the United States in which its consumer laptops came pre-loaded with an advertising program called VisualDiscovery. The goal of the program was to deliver advertisements to consumers. In the process of doing so, however, the program allegedly compromised security protections.

According to the FTC, VisualDiscovery interfered with the way users’ browsers handled certain websites. This situation created major vulnerabilities in security, the FTC alleged.

To resolve the allegations, Lenovo agreed to not misrepresent any pre-loaded software installed on its computers. If Lenovo plans to pre-install programs on the computers it sells, it must receive affirmative consumer consent before allowing the software to run on their laptops.

The FTC noted that it had received 10 comments related to the settlement during the public comment period. The agency voted 2-0 to approve the final order as well as to respond to the 10 commenters.

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U.S. Federal Trade Commission