On July 11, 2018, computer manufacturer Lenovo Group Ltd. (“Lenovo”) agreed to a proposed $8.3 million settlement in the hopes of resolving consumer class claims regarding pop-up ad software Lenovo pre-installed on its laptops. Lenovo issued a press release stating that, “while Lenovo disagrees with allegations contained in these complaints, we are pleased to bring this matter to a close after 2-1/2 years.”
In June of 2014, Lenovo and Superfish, a software development company, entered into a profit-sharing agreement regarding Superfish’s VisualDiscovery ad-serving software. Lenovo pre-installed VisualDiscovery on a certain group of its laptops, which it began shipping out in late summer. According to the consumer class claims, VisualDiscovery accessed sensitive consumer data and riddled the laptops with security vulnerabilities.
The proposed settlement, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, requires Lenovo and Superfish to pay the class $7.3 million and $1 million, respectively. It will be finalized only with Judge Haywood Gilliam’s approval.
We previously reported on the FTC’s 2017 settlement with Lenovo regarding preinstalled laptop software.