IS YOUR LAPTOP SPYING ON YOU?

IS YOUR LAPTOP SPYING ON YOU?

We know some televisions are. How about your laptop?  Lenovo’s was, but they admitted they ‘screwed up‘ with “SuperFish”.

From the Lenovo forums:

Administrator
Mark_Lenovo
Posts: 8,082
Registered: ‎11-19-2007
Location: RTP, North Carolina
Re: Lenovo Pre-instaling adware/spam – Superfish – powerd by VisualSearch

All,

As an update on this…

Due to some issues (browser pop up behavior for example), with the Superfish Visual Discovery browser add-on, we have temporarily removed Superfish from our consumer systems until such time as Superfish is able to provide a software build that addresses these issues. As for units already in market, we have requested that Superfish auto-update a fix that addresses these issues.

To be clear, Superfish comes with Lenovo consumer products only and is a technology that helps users find and discover products visually. The technology instantly analyzes images on the web and presents identical and similar product offers that may have lower prices, helping users search for images without knowing exactly what an item is called or how to describe it in a typical text-based search engine.

The Superfish Visual Discovery engine analyzes an image 100% algorithmically, providing similar and near identical images in real time without the need for text tags or human intervention. When a user is interested in a product, Superfish will search instantly among more than 70,000 stores to find similar items and compare prices so the user can make the best decision on product and price.

Superfish technology is purely based on contextual/image and not behavioral. It does not profile nor monitor user behavior.  It does not record user information. It does not know who the user is. Users are not tracked nor re-targeted.  Every session is independent. When using Superfish for the first time, the user is presented the Terms of User and Privacy Policy, and has option not to accept these terms, i.e., Superfish is then disabled.

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ThinkPads: S30, T43, X60t, X1, W700ds, IdeaPad Y710, IdeaCentre: A300, IdeaPad K1
Mark Hopkins
Program Manager, Lenovo Social Media (Services)
twitter @lenovoforums

More from a reader:
“Basically Superfish screws with the certificates that your computer trusts to add it’s own. That’s not good, because normally the only certificates your computer will trust are from enormous companies whose entire purpose is to create and sell these certificates. If you don’t have Superfish, you get an error like that because your computer realizes that that certificate hasn’t been issued by one of those big companies (i.e. it could be some Russian kid in his basement generated it). If you do have Superfish, when you hit that website it finds the Superfish certificate in it’s list of trusted certificates and lets you on through.
Exception: Firefox may not be a good browser to use to test this. Supposedly Superfish has workarounds, but Firefox maintains it’s own certificate store so you may want to check using IE to be sure.”
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