Categories
Cyber Security

Go read these reports showing how an antivirus company tracked everything its users clicked online

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

You might install antivirus software on your computer to protect your privacy and make sure no one is snooping on what you’re up to. But if you used some Avast and AVG products, you might have been revealing all of that sensitive information anyway.

A joint investigation by Motherboard and PCMag reveals how Avast, which owns AVG, kept track of detailed information on what many of its users did online. That data it collected included what people searched for and clicked on, from LinkedIn pages to PornHub searches to Amazon purchases. That information was then sent to Jumpshot, an Avast subsidiary, which offered to sell that data to clients. (Avast said the data couldn’t be traced back to individual users, though the publications are somewhat skeptical.)

It’s a scary read that shows the wide-reaching access the apps on our computers and extensions in our browsers have, as well as just how broad those check boxes to “share data” with a company can be. Sharing information on this scale is obviously unacceptable and few would consent to it if they knew how extensive and revealing it can be. This report shows that it’s happening nonetheless, even from companies you’d expect to look out for you.

By Jackson, M.

A Blogger, Freelancer and Programmer. I Iove reading and writing about tech and events. Contact: jackson@jackytee.co.ke