HP ‘spyware’ could be slowing down your laptop or PC

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HP has been accused of stealthily installing a piece of software on its users’ PCs which hoovers up data on that machine, effectively acting as spyware, and it seems it is slowing systems down considerably, as well.

This worrying development was reported by Computerworld, and the software in question is called the HP Touchpoint Analytics Client. According to HP’s description itself, the client “harvests telemetry information that is used by HP Touchpoint’s analytical services”.

Telemetry information could potentially be anything related to the hardware, software or usage of your machine.

Unsurprisingly, there’s been a lot of anger online concerning the unsolicited installation of this client, which appears to have popped up on desktop PCs and laptops without asking or notifying the user.

Although at this point, it isn’t clear whether the software was delivered via an HP update, or an update courtesy of Microsoft. There has been plenty written about this across the net in various forums and tech sites, some of which observes that the process was put in place following the latest batch of Windows updates.

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System slowdown

The other major pain point here is not only the surveillance aspect of this client, but also the fact that it appears to weigh heavily on system resources.

A poster on Reddit tells us: “So today all of a sudden, I'm experiencing a considerable slowdown in my laptop (Pavilion P3V59PA). Once I look for the problem in Task Manager, I found out that the program called HP Touchpoint Analytics Client (and its subsequent follow up) constantly jumping the memory usage.

“I don't remember ever installing this program whatsoever, and in control panel, I found that for some reason this program was silently installed today, without my consent.”

Another post on an HP support forum observes: “I noticed my mouse lagging significantly on Chrome, went to Programs & Features in Control Panel on my Windows 7 HP desktop and saw this ‘HP Touchpoint Analytics Client’ was installed on my PC without my permission on 11-17-17.”

Thus far, HP hasn’t commented on the matter, but we’ve been in touch with the company to clear up some of the confusion regarding this client, and we’ll update this story with any response.

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In the meantime, if you want to be rid of this particular little pest, removal is easy enough as outlined by Martin Brinkmann over at Ghacks.net.

It hasn’t been a great year for HP on the suspect software front, when you consider that back in the spring, some HP laptops were found to be hit by a keylogger (capable of monitoring and recording keystrokes) which was buried in an audio driver.

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