Companies like Avast and AVG are probably known to users as being the developers of security-based software like antiviruses. However, it seems that the browser extensions that these companies made have been accused of snooping on users who have installed their extensions.
These extensions include Avast Online Security, AVG Online Security, Avast SafePrice, and AVG SafePrice. The former two extensions are supposed to warn users when they visit websites known to be suspect, while the latter two are designed for online shopping. They were exposed by Wladimir Palant on his blog where he noticed that the amount of data collected by these extensions were more than necessary or appropriate.
Palant has since notified the companies whose browsers the extensions are available on, such as Google, Mozilla, and Opera. Mozilla has since disabled the extension listings and stated that they are talking with Avast, while Opera replied to Palant where they stated that they will be unpublishing them from the store.
So far Google has yet to respond to the report and as it stands, they are still available. That being said, we should note that these extensions still do what they advertise themselves to do, it’s just that behind the scenes, it’s doing a lot more that we imagine many users will be uncomfortable with. If you have any of them installed, you might want to consider removing or disabling them for now until this can be sorted. You can check out our guide on managing browser extensions here.