HP Printer Driver Wants To Phone Home

What is the job function of a printer driver? When you hit the print button what do you want to happen? Apparently if you are HP, you want users of your printers to get attractive offers on some of their other products. Apparently, HP is using their printer drivers to send system configuration of your home or work environment back to home base to up sale you supplies, warranties, support from your print manager.

For years, Microsoft Windows has had the feature to send a crash dump to Microsoft when an application failed after prompting the user for permission. The crash dump information helps Microsoft understand the conditions that lead to the application crashing. Firefox also has a similar feature where anonymous user statistics so that they can learn from their users and improve their product. But now HP has hit a new low when they designed a phone home feature that shares statistics and usage information from your printer back with HP HQ to up sale you on supplies, warranties, and support. Effectively, HP has turned their HP printer driver to a their sales force embedded in your office.

This is a bad user experience for many reasons, including the fact that all I want is a document not a popup with HP ads, I am not the one responsible for purchasing office supplies, I dislike the accumulation of background processes that send statistics about my computer use to third-parties. It is clear to me that this is a feature that a marketing manager dreamed up and not a engineer driving solution to a problem. Since it doesn’t solve any of my problems, but their, I disabled it.

Below is the portion of the text from the HP Printer Driver dialog.

This HP Printer Driver can provide valuable information about your HP device for things like supplies, warranty, and support, as well as attractive offers. This information will not affect your normal interaction with your computer or printer, nor will it result in your receiving any additional emails from HP.

To take advantage of this feature we need your permission to transmit your printing and imaging system configuration to HP over the Internet. All information will be handled in accordance with the HP Privacy Statement.

HP Printer Driver Wants to Phone Home

HP Printer Driver Dialog


3 Responses to “HP Printer Driver Wants To Phone Home”

  • cookies Says:

    This is a pain in the arse. Is there a way to disable this, or does it pop up on a per user basis (I have it on a terminal server)

  • Year In Review 2011 Says:

    […] HP Printer Driver Wants to Phone Home […]

  • Justin Says:

    It is possible to turn this off using registry keys. Unfortunately I don’t if it is possible to disable this on a computer-wide basis. The keys below disable all notifications.

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Hewlett-Packard\HP Print Settings]
    ; The “approval” window is shown if TMEnabled is true, but TriggerMarketing if false
    ; triggerMarketing = Yes, allow this info to be sent to HP and allow messages to be dispalyed – 1 = enabled
    “SNPTriggerMarketing”=dword:00000000
    ; ShowTMPrivacy = Do not notify me each time my info is sent to HP. 0=Do not notify, 1=show notification
    “SNPShowTMPrivacy”=dword:00000001

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Hewlett-Packard\TM\UPD]
    ; TMEnabled = Allow special device information and offers to be displayed
    “TMEnabled”=dword:00000000
    ; Supply = offers regarding ink, toner, and media for your HP product – 0=disabled
    “SupplyEnabled”=dword:0000000
    ; CarePack = offers regarding HP services – 0=disabled
    “CarepackEnabled”=dword:0000000
    ; accessory = Offers regarding useful accessories for your HP product
    “AccessoryEnabled”=dword:0000000
    ; bounty = Other offers from HP and valued partners
    “BountyEnabled”=dword:0000000
    ; Info = informational messages from HP, including driver updates – 0=disabled
    “InfoEnabled”=dword:00000000

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Hewlett-Packard\TM\discrete]
    “TMEnabled”=dword:00000000
    “SupplyEnabled”=dword:0000000
    “CarepackEnabled”=dword:0000000
    “AccessoryEnabled”=dword:0000000
    “BountyEnabled”=dword:0000000
    “InfoEnabled”=dword:00000000

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