The Joseph Saveri Law Firm filed a class action lawsuit in April 2015 on behalf of purchasers of certain models of Lenovo notebook computers in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging multiple violations of federal computer fraud, racketeering, and consumer protection laws, as well as corollary and other common law claims under California, New York, and Ohio law.
Since January 2014 Lenovo Group Ltd. has been pre-installing “VisualDiscovery” software designed by Superfish on at least 43 different Lenovo notebook computer models, which have then been sold to consumers in the United States and elsewhere. This software was by definition spyware—hidden within each computer’s operating system to impede detection and of which users had no knowledge—that allowed Superfish to intercept, monitor, and alter computer users’ internet activities, and search the results.
Superfish was then able to capture and “monetize” the computer owner’s private online activity and search behavior by selling the data collected from unwitting Lenovo users to third parties. Lenovo agreed to install and conceal the spyware in exchange for a cut of the proceeds received by Superfish.
The Superfish software not only jeopardized security for anyone accessing the internet on affected computers, but caused significant performance issues for Lenovo laptops.
The suit, In re Lenovo Adware Litigation, seeks damages for loss of value and functionality to affected notebook computers.