Back in 2015, Lenovo was busted for pre-installing adware from Superfish on some new computers. A legal battle ensued and the price Lenovo has been ordered to pay for its unsavory practice is $3.5 million.
The fine will be paid out to a 32-state coalition. The biggest worry about the bloatware infraction was that it would bypass security regulations and spy on encrypted files.
Once caught, Lenovo pushed out a tool to remove the software, but that was just the beginning of its course correction.
“As part of the settlement with the FTC, Lenovo is prohibited from misrepresenting any features of software preloaded on laptops that will inject advertising into consumers’ internet browsing sessions or transmit sensitive consumer information to third parties,” stated FTC of the ruling.
On top of that, the FTC ruled that Lenovo must gain consumer consent to ever pre-install this software again and it’s required for 20 years to include a comprehensive software security program that is subject to third-party audits.
Lenovo expressed its displeasure with the ruling but said it’s glad to see the legal battle come to an end. It also made a point to mention that no third parties exploited the software.