Lenovo, a manufacturer of personal computers, recently agreed, among other things, to implement a software security program in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over issues with third-party software preinstalled on some laptops. The software was later found to have significant security vulnerabilities that put consumers’ personal information at risk.
The software created pop-up advertisements tailored to the consumer’s browsing. For example, if the consumer were shopping for an owl-shaped pendant, the software would generate advertisements for other owl-shaped pendants. The software acted as a “man-in-the-middle”, reviewing website information before passing it on to the browser – much like a person reading mail before delivering it with advertisements tailored to preferences indicated in the mail. Continue Reading