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HP apologizes for printer software update shenanigans
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HP recently apologized for a software update causing some of its printers to stop working with ink cartridges from competing suppliers, even if the printers had accepted the same cartridges in the past.
The apology comes after critics complained HP had over-reached by interfering with customers' right to choose ink suppliers. Critics also warned it could make customers less likely to accept future HP software updates.
HP says the update was part of an effort to protect (thwart) customers from using "unauthorized" cartridges. HP apologized for not explaining its actions, and promised another software update providing options of reversing the controversial change.
Printer ink is one of HP's most profitable products, and has long tried to discourage customers from using lower-priced ink from other suppliers.
HP places security chips on its cartridges so they can be recognized by its printers. Earlier this year, HP installed a software update for some inkjet printers that included a new security feature that stopped printers from working with unauthorized cartridges that HP says contain "cloned" security chips even if the printers had accepted those cartridges before.
The update sparked customer complaints and condemnation from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which advocates for tech users' rights. EFF called the update a "bait-and-switch" tactic depriving consumers of choice, making printers less useful and warned makes consumers less willing to accept future updates. Functionality vs. security.
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