HP Inc. is going to issue an optional firmware update in the near future. With this it will be restricted to use the untested accessories in its printers. This security feature will prevent the third party cartridges with cloned security chips from working.
The thing has been cleared in the blog written by Jon Flaxman, chief operating officer, HP Inc., “When ink cartridges are cloned or counterfeited, the customer is exposed to the quality and potential security risks, compromising the printer experience”.
As a new company, we are committed to transparency in all of our communications and when we fall short, we call ourselves out,” Flaxman said. “Although only a small number of customers have been affected, one customer who has a poor experience is one too many.”
It was about two years ago when the company planned to split itself into two separate publicly treated companies: HP Inc. (personal system and computing) and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (software, service and infrastructure). The entire transaction was finalized and completed in November that year.
“We should have done a better job of communicating about the authentication procedure to customers, and we apologize,” Flaxman wrote. Affected customers can find more details online or contact the support center at email@example.com.
The reversal comes two days after author Cory Doctorow, on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), penned an open letter demanding HP overturn the block. The digital rights activist accused HP of abusing its security update mechanism “to trick its customers.”
According to Flaxman, the company will continue using security features “including authentication methods that may prevent some third-party supplies from working.” “However, we commit to improving our communication so that customers understand our concerns about cloned and counterfeit supplies,” he added.
In its original update, EFF welcomed the optional update offered by the company, but still there are some questions about the motives behind the actions of HP Inc. “We remain troubled by the trend of companies using digital locks to break their own products’ functionality, and then representing those locks as security features,” the group said in its own blog post. “These anti-features endanger Internet security while making our products less useful. We hope that other companies learn from HP’s mistakes.”
A thing that is essentially being noted here that last month, Hewlett-Packard has made an agreement to buy Samsung’s printer business for $1.5 billion. By the start of November, Samsung will split off its printing business unit as a separate company and then it will be sold to HP Inc. in its 100 percent stake.