The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved its proposed settlement with Lenovo, Inc. over the installation of pre-installed advertising software called VisualDiscovery onto Lenovo laptops. According to the FTC, the pre-installed software “interfered with how a user’s browser interacted with websites and created serious security vulnerabilities.”

The settlement requires Lenovo to not misrepresent the features of software and prohibits Lenovo from pre-installing advertising software and transmitting sensitive consumer information to third parties. It can only run the software in the future if it gets consumers’ affirmative consent.

Finally, Lenovo is required to develop and implement a comprehensive software security program which is subject to audits by third parties over the next twenty years.

The settlement is very consistent with prior data security settlements with the FTC.—Linn Foster Freedman