WTF Toshiba?

IMG_20150419_185722192 Look at the photo to the right. That notice was used as a seal on the plastic bag (which was inside a box) that my recently purchased Toshiba laptop came in. Essentially, the notice says Toshiba has the right to (spy on me) and I should bend over and take it. WTF?

Here is my problem with what Toshiba is doing.

Why am I being forced to allow Toshiba to collect data on me? I get it; it is the age of big data and more data typically means a competitive advantage over your competition. However, there seems to be no way to stop Toshiba from collecting this data short of either

  • Returning the laptop
  • Formatting the laptop to erase all of Toshiba’s preinstalled junk (assuming Toshiba’s data collection mechanism is software and not hardware, which is likely true but I can’t confirm for sure)

Of course, I may be wrong; however, I looked through the settings on my laptop — notably all of the Toshiba-branded software — and tried to Google search it but found no solution to stopping Toshiba’s data collection aside from the two options mentioned above.

In Toshiba’s defense, “anonymous, non-personally identifiable system information” and gathering information on my installed software / drivers (i.e. “searching for updates for your device”) is not exactly Lenovo-level spying. (For those of you that have not been following tech news in the recent past, Lenovo was installing dangerous spyware on their laptops without their customers being told.) But, really, this type of behavior is a terrible way to do business… especially in a highly competitive business that is the computing industry.

I don’t care how anonymous they claim it to be — I want a say in what can be collected and what can’t be when I paid hundreds of dollars for this machine. Now, if the laptop was discounted in exchange for collecting data on me (is free too much to ask?), I might have a different stance on the matter. Until then, piss off Toshiba.

While it is going to be a hassle, I may indeed end up returning this laptop because I don’t have the time to format, reinstall Windows, and try and track down all the proper drivers for this laptop. Well done, Toshiba — you just lost a customer.

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