Lenovo Criticized for Shipping Laptops With Adware

Company Under Fire Over Superfish Installs

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The world's largest PC seller Lenovo was, until a few weeks ago, a willing player in the ad-injection ecosystem.

The company was caught installing laptops with the adware program Superfish, software which injects ads into web pages, such as Google's search results, without consent. Superfish also served pop-up windows, according to a Lenovo forum moderator.

Lenovo, in a statement, said it stopped pre-loading the Superfish software in January. Still, this week security experts said it had opened up the possibility users could have their secure data hacked.

"We have thoroughly investigated this technology and do not find any evidence to substantiate security concerns," the company wrote in a statement on Thursday. "But we know that users reacted to this issue with concern, and so we have taken direct action to stop shipping any products with this software." Several hours later, the company posted instructions on how to remove the application on its Twitter account.

Representatives from Lenovo did not immediately return a request for comment. Last quarter, the company shipped more than 16 million PCs, claiming 19% of the global market, according to Gartner.

Ad Age last year detailed the advertising industry's' ad injection problem:

Contributing: Mark Bergen

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