FTC Slams Avast with $16.5 Million Fine for Selling Users’ Browsing Data

FTC Slams Avast with $16.5 Million Fine for Selling Users’ Browsing Data

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has hit antivirus vendor Avast with a $16.5 million fine over charges that the firm sold users’ browsing data to advertisers after claiming its products would block online tracking.

In addition, the company has been banned from selling or licensing any web browsing data for advertising purposes. It will also have to notify users whose browsing data was sold to third-parties without their consent.

The misleading data privacy practice came to light in January 2020 following a joint investigation by Motherboard and PCMag, calling out Google, Yelp, Microsoft, McKinsey, Pepsi, Home Depot, Condé Nast, and Intuit as some of Jumpshot’s “past, present, and potential clients.”

A month before, web browsers Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera removed Avast’s browser add-ons from their respective stores, with prior research from security researcher Wladimir Palant in October 2019 deeming those extensions as spyware.

Avast has since merged with another cybersecurity company NortonLifeLock to form a new parent company called Gen Digital, which also includes other products like AVG, Avira, and CCleaner.

The development comes nearly a year after the company was fined €13.7 million by the Czech Republic’s data regulator for violating E.U. GDPR data protection regulations by collecting and selling internet browsing dataource


Source: https://thehackernews.com/