Developers of Avast antivirus suspected surveillance of the Internet activity of users and selling this data to third parties, including Google and Microsoft. To such conclusion edition Motherboard and PCMag after a joint investigation.
Audience services cybersecurity Avast has more than 435 million active users of Windows, macOS and mobile devices. The company allows you to install the free version of their tool in exchange for agreeing to aggregated usage statistics. This information then goes to an advertising Agency Jumpshot owned Avast. What exactly is being recorded, the company did not disclose.
On the basis of leaks, partnership agreements and other materials, reporters found that Avast is a huge pool of data, including search queries, GPS coordinates on Google maps and viewing history on YouTube. Moreover, free antivirus monitors the activity on porn sites, recording the exact date of the visit and open the link.
In Avast saying that anonymizer received data that is collected in anonymised, so they cannot be linked with a specific person. In particular, masked by a unique device ID that remains assigned to the user as long as the antivirus will not be deleted.
Despite this, according to Motherboard, the Jumpshot is unique information about an Internet session that may be compared with one another to determine the identity of the person. Moreover, marketers do not notify users that their information is sold to outside firms.
Base Jumpshot buy big companies, from Google and Microsoft to Pepsi and Yelp. How much she earns Avast, it is not clear, but one only marketing firm Omnicom Media Group paid for data access more than $2 million in 2019, specified in the investigation.