Avast, cybersecurity company is accused of selling user data

Used by about 435 million people worldwide, Avast is a pretty famous free antivirus in the medium being among the best of the moment.

However, for some time now, the company that publishes the antivirus solution that also bears the same name, Avast, has fallen into a controversy where it is accused of marketing the data of its users.

This article will also interest you: Has the antivirus solution provider violated the privacy rules

According to the results of a joint survey conducted by the website "Motherboard" and the online magazine " PCMag, the company Computer security tend to store data related to the searches carried out by these users, and that it in addition to this, the various purchases and clicks made by these Last. Apparently the user data trade done by Avast, would be through its subsidiary Jumpshot, which has already allowed it to deal with large digital groups such as Microsoft, Google, Pepsi, Home Depot, and Yelp. And according to the report products derived from this collection of user data. can bring in millions $1 million to the cybersecurity firm.

One of the Avast's problem tools is undoubtedly All Clicks. one computer program to collect all the data relating to the different user behaviors of clicks and searches that these do on the internet. « . It is possible, for example, to know, at the millisecond which site users were navigating and what links were clicked. according to one study.

To defend itself, cybersecurity firm Avast said it was making the computer data it collected anonymous and marketed it via Jumpshot. In this way it was impossible to trace back to the very identity of the users concerned. According to him, data collection is simply about determining some of the major usage trends on major web platforms such as Amazon or YouTube. But would all this be purely theoretical? the question is beautiful and legitimate because according to the investigation conducted by the two online media, this may not really be the case.

Data are not always anonymized. Indeed, Motherboard and PCMag have assured that one of the world's largest networks comprising several advertising and communication agencies, called Omnicom, would have purchased a digital data set composed of often nominal or indicative information. Information to identify devices used by users.

Avast also wanted to notify that users of its antivirus solution have always had the right to refuse to share their personal data. And that is still the case. The cybersecurity company reports that since July 2019 it has undertaken a set of information campaigns to obtain the explicit consent of users of its free antivirus software when sharing personal browsing data. In the first controversy involving the Firefox browser, which had decided to remove extensions of the Avast software on the pretext that they were collecting data related to the browsing of these users, Ondrej Vleck, the CEO of Avast had said: "Before arriving on Avast's servers; Data is cleared of anything that could reveal a person's identity, such as a name in a URL; or when to connect to Facebook."

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