HP to turn your printer into an advertising machine

Maker of expensive printer ink HP might be getting ready to turn your printer into a spam machine.

For a while we have been wondering what else that HP was planning with its Web-connected printers. Now it seems that the outfit wants to turn your printer against you and make it print out spam advertising.

Hewlett-Packard plans to use Yahoo’s advertising network in a pilot program that will deliver “targeted advertisements” for content printed with its latest line of Web-connected printers.

According to ComputerWorld, HP sees a potential for localized, targeted advertising to go along with internet content.

HP ran two trials where consumers received content from a US national music magazine and major US newspaper along with advertisements.

Stephen Nigro, senior vice president in HP’s Imaging and Printing Group said that people were not bothered by advertisements. Apparently people got used to it.

HP’s ePrint printers, some of which will become available next month, are connected to the user’s home router, which means they will have an IP address. IP addresses can be used to identify an approximate area where the Web-connected device is located, opening the potential for targeted advertisements based on location.

Ads can also be targeted based on a user’s behavior as well as the content, said Vyomesh Joshi, head of the HP’s Imaging and Printing Group. So if you visit a porn site we guess your printer will start spewing out hard copies for all to see.

HP admits there needs to be rules on privacy. However there also needs to be rules for who pays for its expensive printer ink as it prints out adverts I don’t want on a printer I paid for. It is hard to see any company or individual going for this and we think that HP really needs its head examined.