Replace February 7, 2020:
Wacom revealed a weblog put up in response to the “many questions relating to knowledge assortment” prompted by Robert Heaton’s report (detailed in our unique protection beneath). The weblog says that Wacom’s customers should choose in to sharing the info, which is collected through the Wacom Expertise Program that Heaton described. Wacom additionally stated that customers can choose out of sharing this knowledge at any time by turning off the Wacom Expertise Program contained in the Privateness Settings panel within the Wacom Desktop Heart app.
Wacom defined that it “collects knowledge by way of its software program driver … for high quality insurance coverage and growth functions solely.” That knowledge is collected “infrequently” through Google Analytics, which is alleged to anonymize the knowledge earlier than offering it to Wacom. That method it might probably view combination knowledge with out compromising particular person customers (at the very least in idea).
“Our growth and buyer care groups might assessment throughout all aggregated customers of a product, as an illustration, the most typical operate settings for pen buttons (e.g. ‘proper click on’ or ‘undo’) or essentially the most ceaselessly considered tabs or chosen hyperlinks within the Wacom apps,” Melissa Ashcraft, Wacom’s director of selling communications, wrote. “We’ve no entry to private knowledge. We can not relate to any particular customers as the info are anonymized and aggregated. We have no idea who customers are as people and can’t see what customers are creating or doing in third-party software program functions.”
Unique article, February 6, 2020:
Wacom pill house owners is perhaps sharing extra info with the corporate than anticipated. A software program engineer named Robert Heaton reported Wednesday that Wacom’s driver sent details about every app he opened to Google Analytics.
The driver seemingly recorded when the app was opened too, and the report included a string of characters that could serve as a unique identifier for Heaton’s laptop. That’s a lot of information for a drawing tablet driver to collect about a customer’s system.
Heaton said he needed to use Wireshark, a popular app among the security-conscious that monitors network traffic, as well as a cybersecurity utility called Burp Suite to piece together the information Wacom’s driver gathered to share with Google Analytics.
Wacom likely uses this data to troubleshoot any problems with using its tablets in specific apps. If the company sees that a lot of Wacom tablet owners experience problems after using Adobe Illustrator, for example, it can investigate the issue.
Failing to disclose this information could be a problem, though, and it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence even if everything’s on the up-and-up. Even the most innocent actions look sketchy when done in secret.
We’ve reached out to Wacom for a comment on Heaton’s findings and will update this post if the company responds.