Avast is reportedly selling users' web browsing data2020-01-27 18:29 by Daniela
A recent investigation by Motherboard and PCMag found that popular antivirus program Avast has been selling users data to giant companies like Google, Home Depot, Microsoft and Pepsi. Avast is a well-known company that sells antivirus software, and provides free versions for Windows and macOS platforms. However, its browser extension has been found to be sending user data to third-party marketing firms.
Avast reportedly scraped data from its antivirus software and handed it off to its subsidiary Jumpshot, which repackaged the data and sold it, sometimes for millions of dollars. While Avast required users to opt-in to this data sharing, the investigation found that many were unaware that Jumpshot was selling their data.
Data is collected on individual clicks and combining this information with other data that a company might hold, such as the data and time of a purchase, could allow a user to be identified. The T&Cs also allow Jumpshot to retain the data for three years.'
At the time, Avast reassured users that their data was "fully de-identified and aggregated" during this process. However, the investigation has uncovered that it's relatively easy for marketers to build a profile on individuals, their purchase habits, and their browser click history.
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