Wacom tablets are collecting your App data to share with Google Analytics

It is not clear why Wacom requires access to what applications users use

Wacom tablets are collecting data for apps that open up users, and what Wacom is doing with the data is not completely clear. In a thorough blog post, a software-engineer Robert Heaton says that after setting up his tablet on his new laptop, he discovered his actions.

When during the installation process, Heaton was asked to accept Wacom’s privacy policy, he saw a message saying that Google Analytics would share “aggregate user data, technical information, and information about [ its] hardware.” Heaton explains how he created a proxy server to view which data Wacom collected from his computer and found that Wacom recorded the name of each opened application.

While developers and companies use Google Analytics to understand their customers, it is not clear why Wacom requires access to what applications users use. “What requires more explanation is why Wacom thinks it’s acceptable to record every time I open a new application, including the time, a string that presumably uniquely identifies me, and the application’s name,” said Heaton.

As a Reddit article from last year states, he was not the first to discuss this portion of Wacom’s privacy policy, the privacy policy was changed as the driver update began 6.3.27. “While you were installing your driver, but not when you bought the tablet, you gave your permission for that,” the post says.

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Users can switch off of their data collection by going in the settings in the Wacom Tablet’s Desktop Center —> “More”—> Privacy Settings —> and selecting “off” in the “Participate Wacom Experience Program” box.

Wacom Twitter support has been made available to Heaton to explain, however, that the information is being gathered “keep the computer safe from applications not downloaded from the App store.” To explain why these data are obtained, we have reached Wacom.

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