Lexmark denies spyware allegations

Lexmark has firmly denied installing spyware on its customers' computers, after allegations appeared on a Usenet newsgroup that its printers install software that sends personal information back to the company. The poster, calling himself Commander, writes on the comp.periphs.printers Usenet newsgroup, that while he was installing a new Lexmark printer, he noticed that a program called Lx_CATS had been added to the program files directory. He determined that it was programmed to collect data on his printing and scanning habits and send it to a domain owned by Lexmark at 30 day intervals. He added: "Furthermore, it is embedded into the system registry, so average users would likely never know it was there and active."

He states that Lexmark did not ask his permission to install the program, or to gather this information at any time during the installation. He adds that when he called Lexmark to complain, the company originally denied all knowledge of the program, only to cough to it when confronted with his evidence. Lexmark UK has issued a statement in response to the allegations: "Lexmark Connect is a voluntary program that is fully disclosed to all users during the installation process for a new printer. During this process, a registration screen will appear that will allow the user to choose to participate, or not participate in this program. A user MUST review this page and click "continue", or the registration process will not install the program or the printer."

News source: The Register

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