Free Version Antivirus Program tracked your activity & sold browsing data

According to a report by Fox Business, used by hundreds of millions of users worldwide, Avast used by millions of people collected and sold users’ activity.

Once Avast free version was installed on PCs, It collected browsing data and it’s subsidiary Jumpshot then repackaged that date and sold it to companies like Google, Microsoft, Trip Advisor. This was unearthed by Vice`s Motherboard and PCMag.

Avast informed consumers that “It has completely discontinued the practice of using any data from its browser extension “.

They further elaborated that users have the ability to opt-out of the sharing data with Jumpshot. But that is not the case.

Companies pay millions of dollars to access users’ web browsing activity which is considered illegal. The user data includes information on which website people visited and their activity on these sites. In Pakistan, this is considered illegal and is charged under the Cyber Crime Act.

Here is an example fo the data collected by Jumpshot

  • DeviceID”abc223x  Date 2019/12/01 Hour Minute Second 12:03:05
  • Domain Amazon.com  Product: Apple Ipad Pro 10.5 —2017 Model
  • 256 GB Rose Gold Behavior: Add to Cart.

This doesn’t tell you anything about the person behind the clicks unless your amazon. With access to Amazon Data, you could simply look for users who executed the same click or series of clicks and now you have a name associated with the device ID.

Avast recently removed the user tracking feature from its Chrome Extensions, but the standalone desktop program continues to collect with every click. For this reason, PC specialists don’t recommend Avast Antivirus.

When installing a new program on PC, do read the EULA