Geeks Charge Lexmark With Spying

Members of the comp.periphs.printers Usenet newsgroup are writing that Lexmark installs spyware on users’ PCs in the form of undocumented software that monitors scanning and printing and sends the data back to Lexmark. A report in Silicon.com outlines the allegations.

One user said that after initially denying the allegations, Lexmark acknowledged installing tracking software that reported printer and cartridge use back to the company for survey purposes. He claimed that Lexmark said no personal data was taken by the program, and that it was impossible to identify anyone by it.

However, users installing the software are prompted to fill in a registration form including their name and the serial number of the product.

Lexmark hasn’t formally responded. If true, this is yet another example of transparency being forced on businesses by the Internet. At the very least, Lexmark has a PR problem on its hands and the sooner it comes clean, the better. Even if they are only monitoring cartridge usage, the real problem is that they didn’t tell anybody. Tsk-tsk.

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