Avast is harvesting users' browser histories and selling the data to other companies without fully "de-identifying" it

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Posted 27th Jan
Avast is harvesting users' browser histories and selling the data to other companies without fully "de-identifying" it. The data can be linked back to people's real identities, exposing every click and search they've made.


Avast is harvesting users' browser histories on the pretext that the data has been 'de-identified,' thus protecting your privacy. But the data, which is being sold to third parties, can be linked back to people's real identities, exposing every click and search they've made.


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Waiting for those "I've used Avast for years and never had a virus/a problem" comments
23 Comments
Waiting for those "I've used Avast for years and never had a virus/a problem" comments
I found this was happening with various "review sites" (no review necessary)
...its browser extensions were found harvesting users' data to supply to marketers. Last month, the antivirus company tried to justify the practice by claiming the collected web histories were stripped of users' personal details before being handed off.

"The data is fully de-identified and aggregated and cannot be used to personally identify or target you," Avast told users, who opt in to the data sharing...


Why would anybody opt-in to sharing their browsing history with anybody else?

PS. Something I spotted recently; when you agree to the "Program Agreement" of the Windows Insider Preview Downloads, you will not be allowed to access a pre-release version of MS-Windows 10 before also agreeing to provide your browser history to Microsoft (even though that is not included within the terms & conditions).
Edited by: "fanpages" 27th Jan
deleted1781227/01/2020 16:21

...before also agreeing to provide your browser history to Microsoft (even …...before also agreeing to provide your browser history to Microsoft (even though that is not included within the terms & conditions).


Interesting. To which specific browser does MS refer? Thanks.
AndyRoyd27/01/2020 16:48

Interesting. To which specific browser does MS refer? Thanks.



Any (I think). It is an operating system setting. I wasn't taking any chances, so withdrew my inclusion in the program(me).
Derek_Fortescue_Shatwell27/01/2020 15:25

Waiting for those "I've used Avast for years and never had a virus/a …Waiting for those "I've used Avast for years and never had a virus/a problem" comments



I've used Avast for years and....um...ah...oh...

Joking aside, this is startling news as I've been a proponent for them to PC users for a very long time. I do have it installed on a Windows machine of mine, and indeed it has always performed admirably but of course no one likes to find out something is being done behind their back. I wouldn't blame users as it would seem; from the Avast forum; voices are starting to raise as to why free as well as paid customers weren't given this information. I guess time will reveal more details...

I am thankful; yet again; that I use a 'live' Linux OS so no need for such trivialities as virus scanners!
I should also thank you @scorpio_king for posting this. I might have never heard of it otherwise.

Most appreciated.
I was under the impression that you had to opt in to data sharing to enable Avast to do this.
You would have thought they would learned after they bought out AVG on the cheap after they did the same
Is this just PC users or across all platforms ?
Google at it again!

Oh wait...
jaketheplumber27/01/2020 19:37

I was under the impression that you had to opt in to data sharing to …I was under the impression that you had to opt in to data sharing to enable Avast to do this.


You do have to opt in to data sharing

I dont see the problem here
What something free that gathers data, who would have thought it...
Peejay123428/01/2020 09:02

What something free that gathers data, who would have thought it...


And then sold it on. That's the issue here.
PhilKelix228/01/2020 09:16

And then sold it on. That's the issue here.


Nothing new in that, isnt that how most 'free' software/apps work?
Peejay123428/01/2020 13:12

Nothing new in that, isnt that how most 'free' software/apps work?


No.
Relax guys, I've been harvesting your data for years!
.MUFC.28/01/2020 13:24

Relax guys, I've been harvesting your data for years!


39781702-AiP3R.jpg
When you install Avast it does make a point of telling you to check the privacy settings, there are 3 settings, 2 about 3rd party data sharing and one about sharing threat info with Avast, I turn them all off (at least 1 maybe 2 are checked by default). Hopefully that fixes this problem? But who knows...
Edited by: "Zek" 29th Jan
Windows 10 has a ton of options in relation to where your data is sent during install, and I think most are turned on by default.

I don't use Avast anymore, but there is an option to turn off 'data sharing' or 'participate in the data customer programme'.

Another point is, who actually reads all the terms before they install something or open a website? You could be agreeing to submit your information to 20 different companies, and it would be up to you to get your data removed from each and everyone of them.
Message from CEO of Avast

"Protecting people is Avast’s top priority and must be embedded in everything we do in our business and in our products. Anything to the contrary is unacceptable.

For these reasons, I – together with our board of directors – have decided to terminate the Jumpshot data collection and wind down Jumpshot’s operations, with immediate effect."
Edited by: "Phsycronix" 8th Feb
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