When it comes to antivirus software, Avast is probably one of the more popular and widely-used options out there today. However, it seems that if you value your privacy, you might want to take note of a recent investigation conducted by Motherboard and PCMag, in which it has been discovered that Avast has been selling user data to outside companies.
To be specific, it isn’t Avast that’s selling them directly, but rather through a subsidiary of the company known as Jumpshot. Based on the internal documents that Motherboard and PCMag managed to get their hands on, it was discovered that Avast’s software has been tracking users and their online activities, even their clicks, down to the second.
Avast had previously told users who opted in for data sharing that the data they collect has been de-identified, meaning that no one would know that it is you. However, according to PCMag, this isn’t entirely true. This is due to the fact that the user activity tracked is so detailed that it becomes almost unique to each user.
They gave an example of how a single click could be used to figure out that a user bought something from Amazon on what date and what time, meaning that it wouldn’t be hard for Amazon to figure out who that user is based on this data alone.
Avast had previously gotten itself into a bit of hot water when it was discovered that its browser extension had been collecting more data than necessary, resulting in its (temporary) removal from the web stores of browsers.