When Anti-Virus Software is the Virus Itself

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read
When Anti-Virus Software is the Virus Itself

Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data - VICE

The documents, from a subsidiary of the antivirus giant Avast called Jumpshot, shine new light on the secretive sale and supply chain of peoples' internet browsing histories. They show that the Avast antivirus program installed on a person's computer collects data, and that Jumpshot repackages it into various different products that are then sold to many of the largest companies in the world. Some past, present, and potential clients include Google, Yelp, Microsoft, McKinsey, Pepsi, Home Depot, Condé Nast, Intuit, and many others. Some clients paid millions of dollars for products that include a so-called "All Clicks Feed," which can track user behavior, clicks, and movement across websites in highly precise detail.

This is a remarkable report, and basically say that if you opted in (which I’m sure was not effectively communicated to the end user), then Avast’s “Jumpshot” software would track your every click, search, and effective full browsing history. This is the sort of thing that any reasonable person would say “no thanks, I don’t want you to have that” but they bragged about their 100 million “willing” participants.

Avast has apparently shut this down due to pressure from Vice’s article, but come on…

This is why I prefer top buy products from companies who care at least two shits about user privacy.


Image in the header belongs to Vice.