February 26, 2015
Lenovo, Inc. (“Lenovo”) has been named in a federal class action suit in connection with recent revelations that many of the PC manufacturer’s computers have been preloaded with a software program called Superfish Visual Discovery. This program tracks web searches and browsing activity in order to place additional advertisements on the websites that users visit through use of adware or spyware. Additionally, the program installs its own root certificate that leaves affected PCs more vulnerable to malware attacks.
The lead plaintiff in the action has alleged that the Superfish software tracks Internet usage, invades user privacy and damages user computers. Additionally, the complaint contains allegations that the software decreases computer speed, decreases the useful life of affected computers, and increases usage of electricity.
Lenovo has since issued a public apology and posted uninstall instructions on its website informing affected consumers of the procedure associated with removing the application from their PCs. Nevertheless, the proverbial cat has already been let out of the bag, as the federal class action, and a current class action investigation in New York, demonstrate.