User data issues have made headlines several times in the past few weeks, including the Chrome browser extensions of antivirus software maker Avast and AVG. After the problem was exposed by Adblock Plus developer Wladimir Palant, Google finally made the decision to pull out of the chrome browser extensions of the vendors.
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In the Chrome browser extensions published by Avast and AVG, it found information that stored the user’s browsing habits. Based on this, the vendor or the browsing session data of the repeatable user. In a December 3 blog post, Palant states:
Avast knows how many times a user opens in a browser, how much time they spend on a page, and what they click on a particular tab. This is a clear violation of google and Mozilla’s terms for browser extensions/add-ons.
Mozilla and Opera are understood to have pioneered the action on Avast and AVG extensions, and now Google has also launched problematic browser extensions from the Chrome Web Store.
At the time of writing, only AVG Online Security, a browser extension from AVG, was left available for download on the Chrome Web Store, although neither side made a statement on the matter.
Mozilla has previously said it is working with Avast to resolve privacy issues, meaning that the company’s add-ons could return to the Firefox browser ecosystem where appropriate.
It should be noted that these extensions are not currently blacklisted and are not removed from running devices. However, Palant warns that this means they can continue to monitor users’ behavior.