Antivirus company tracked and sold users' personal browsing histories

ANI | Updated: Jan 29, 2020 16:19 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Jan 29 (ANI): A shocking report has revealed that the cybersecurity company Avast tracked and sold the web browsing data of its users.
As reported by New York Post, the Avast antivirus -- which is being used by hundreds of millions of people around the world -- handed over sensitive personal data to companies such as Google, Pepsi, Home Depot and McKinsey & Co., through the channel of its subsidiary named Jumpshot.
A joint investigation by Motherboard and PCMag led to this revelation. The data that is being sold even includes the porn search history of the users and the videos that they finally watched.
According to the New York Post, Avast claimed that it sought the prior permission of its users to opt-in to the tracking, and the data thus received was kept anonymous.
However, Motherboard was told by experts that in some cases it "could be possible to deanonymize certain users".
The investigation finally reached the conclusion that the users were being tracked and monitored online behind their backs.
Avast -- which is no stranger to controversies similar to this -- responded by stating that: "implementing an explicit opt-in choice for all new downloads of our AV, and we are now also prompting our existing free users to make an opt-in or opt-out choice, a process which will be completed in February 2020."
The company further said: "seriously the responsibility to balance user privacy with the necessary use of data for our core security products." (ANI)