HP apologises for ink-blocking update

HP has backtracked on a software update that blocked some ink cartridges made by third parties.

HP issues apology for ink-blocking update, addressing the concerns and frustrations of affected users. Stay informed on the latest developments regarding this issue.
Image by Guillaume Preat from Pixabay

A controversial firmware change made earlier this month meant HP printer owners using unofficial, usually cheaper, cartridges discovered they would no longer work.

A campaign calling on HP to reverse the move was launched, backed by rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

In a blog post, HP admitted it had should have done a “better job of communicating” the change.

An optional update that removes the restriction on unofficial cartridges will be available “within two weeks”.

But while making the apology for how it informed users, HP defended the move, saying it did so to protect users from counterfeit products.


However, campaigners argued HP’s motivation was less about security, and more about protecting the large profit margins it adds to official ink cartridges.

‘Security nightmare’

As consumers took to online forums and social networks to express anger, the EFF came down hard, saying HP had betrayed the public’s trust.

“Customers should be able to buy an HP printer without fear that the company will later place artificial limits on the printer’s use,” the group said.

“It would be a security nightmare for customers to avoid installing security updates for fear of unwanted and unannounced feature changes.”


“Right now,” the EFF said, “the vast majority of people who use the affected printers likely do not know why their printers lost functionality, nor do they know that it’s possible to restore it.

“All of those customers should be able to use their printers free of artificial restrictions, not just the relatively few who have been closely following this story.”

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