Avast is accused of selling “highly sensitive” web browsing data through a subsidiary called Jumpshot, according tomedia. It is understood that Avast developed free anti-virus software in the world’s users reached millions of people. According to a survey released Monday by Motherboard and PCMag, the software appears to track users’ clicks and movements on the web, as well as collecting data such as their searches on Google and Google Maps, as well as specific LinkedIn pages, Access data for YouTube videos and sites.
The collected data was reportedly repackaged and sold by Jumpshot, which says on its website that it provides data on the actions of users behind “the internet’s most valuable walled garden.” According to the report, the company’s past, present and potential customers include Google, Yelp, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Severa, Home Depot, Intuit and others.
A spokesman for Avast said in an e-mailed statement Monday that Jumpshot does not access users’ personally identifiable information such as their name, email address or contact details, and that users can choose not to share data with Jumpshot.
Avast reportedly asked users to select data collection through pop-up messages from antivirus software. However, multiple users told Motherboard that they did not know their browsing data would be taken out for sale.
Jumpshot did not immediately respond to a request for comment in response to the report.