You are the Product: One reason we don’t recommend Avast (or AVG for that matter)
This came across the headlines from Vice: Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data .So here is our 2 cents.
So the summarize the article, an investigation was done with Motherboard and PCMag. This article discloses that Avast has a subsidiary called Jumpshot which utilizes information collected by the Anti-Virus software and then sells this information to 3rd-parties such as: Google, Yelp, McKinsey, Home Depot, Intuit… just to name a few that may ring a bell in your head while reading this. One of these “products” that Jumpshot sells, “All Clicks Feed” includes user behavior, clicks, and movement across websites in highly precise detail. I’ll put that in a little more detail for you.
You use google chrome for all of your web browsing, you spend roughly 4 hrs on Facebook a day, you then use gmail.com for your email and spend 2 hrs perusing that, your computer is not in use on average between 12am-8am during weekdays.
This is just an example, the the part that really packs a punch this article enclosed a reference to a press release from July directly from Jumpshot where they claim to be ” the only company that unlocks walled garden data” and seeks to “provide marketers with deeper visibility into the entire online customer journey.” To break this down, essentially they are opening saying they are the only company to provide this data, as no one else is as intrusive, lets face it. According to the source from Vice, they have this data down to not only what type of device your using, but the timestamp.
Google removing Avast and Avast’s other subsidiary AVG
Avast for awhile was using it’s browser plugin to gather more information about your usage and behavior. This was discovered in October, which resulted in Google removing Avast and Avast’s other subsidiary AVGs Plugins. After this happened Avast says they have stopped sending the plugin data gathered to Jumpshot… but that’s entirely up to you to trust that.
Overall this is just the tip of the iceberg. For the time being the promises are being made it sounds like where they are introducing Opt-Ins and Opt-Outs for data collection. But personally the old saying, Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.