Avast has recently been thrust into the limelight for collecting and reselling user data. Although Avast was initially tough, arguing that “this is how anti-virus software works”. But after a backlash from public opinion, the company quickly acknowledged the matter — apologizing to users about the matter and immediately shutting down its marketing analysis subsidiary, Jumpshot.
(Photo from Avast, via Beta News)
Earlier, a survey by Motherboard and PCMag found that the company’s free version of anti-virus software collects user data and resells it to marketers.
To placate users, Avast explained in a blog post why user data was collected and defended the continuation of the policy.
Although the company insists that the data collected has been ‘de-identified’ completely, Motherboard and PCMag do not agree.
Today, Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek finally apologized and revealed that the company would immediately close its analytics marketing subsidiary, Jumpshot, in response to continued fermentation.
It says Avast’s core mission is to provide security to users around the world, but now it is aware that the latest news about Jumpshot has hurt the feelings of many users.
Many questions have been raised and trust in the company has been shaken. As CEO of Avast, Ondrej Vlcek believes it is its responsibility to apologize to all those involved.
As Avast’s number one priority, security must be rooted in the company’s business and products. Anything to the contrary is unacceptable.
The Board unanimously decided to terminate Avast’s data collection and immediately terminate Jumpshot’s operations, based on various considerations. For ease of understanding, the company provided some background information.
Avast said it launched Jumpshot in 2015 with the original idea of extending data analytics beyond its core security business.
During this period, network security is also clearly shifting to big data games. It believes that Avast can perform business operations more securely than other companies that collect data, using its own tools and resources.
From the beginning, Jumpshot was an independent company with OnePlus, with its own management and board of directors, to build products and services through data sources provided by Avast Anti-Virus software.
Both Avast and Jumpshot have played their full role in the law over the years and welcomed the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the EU in May 2018.
It sees this as a strict legal framework for how businesses should treat customer data, and both Avast and Jumpshot are committed to 100% compliance with GDPR laws.
When he took over as CEO seven months ago, Ondrej Vlcek spent a lot of time re-evaluating every aspect of the company’s business.
During this period, Ondrej Vlcek concluded that data collection was somewhat inconsistent with Avast’s privacy priority philosophy in 2020 and beyond.
Avast’s goal remains to focus on making the world a safer place. Ultimately, all of the company’s content must be consistent with this philosophy.
While the new decision has left hundreds of loyal Jumpshot employees and dozens of customers sorry, Ondrej Vlcek believes it is the right choice.
It believes this will help Avast focus on unlocking its full potential to deliver on the company’s commitment to security and privacy.
Avast is grateful to its own users for their feedback, which strengthens the company’s determination to take swift action.
After that, Avast will strive to open a new chapter in the security history of users around the world, demonstrate its commitment to innovation and safety priorities, and look forward to 2020 and beyond.
Avast appreciates your continued support and trust and will not disappoint.
– Ondrej Vlcek, CEO of Avast!