More threads by djbaxter


Jun 28, 2012
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Avast antivirus caught spying on user data
Jan 28, 2020

Avast Antivirus is one of the popular antiviruses for Windows 10, which has been offering its services for free for many Home users. Shockingly, they had been caught spying on user data. A joint investigation by PCMag and Motherboard reports some scary findings. It turns out they had not been offering their service for free, but trading by first collecting sensitive user data, and then selling it. All through subsidiaries, but it is happening. If you are using Avast Antivirus, we highly recommend you to switch to Windows Security for complete security.

Avast antivirus sells user data
The report from PCMag and Motherboard comes via leaked documents. These documents talk about how they use the user data is collected, and confidentially sold to some of the biggest tech giants in the industry. The leaked data came from Jumpshot, a subsidiary from Avast. It is responsible for making the data presentable and available to clients, including Google, Yelp, Microsoft, McKinsey, Pepsi, Sephora, Home Depot, Condé Nast, Intuit, and many others. The data includes information about user movement across the internet, what they click, and more.

The data collected is so granular that clients can view the individual clicks users are making on their browsing sessions, including the time down to the millisecond. And while the collected data is never linked to a person's name, email or IP address, each user history is nevertheless assigned to an identifier called the device ID, which will persist unless the user uninstalls the Avast antivirus product.​

Avast extensions for Chrome and Firefox were temporarily removed until Avast implemented new privacy protections.

That's terrible! But at least they have the grace to keep the IPs and identities private, I suppose. I'm not surprised Google is paying for this data either.

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