Avast Shuts Down Jumpshot Over Data Privacy Backlash

In a world where you can’t even believe in security software …

JumpshotAvast’s data-harvesting arm which millions of people have installed as a free browser add-on anti-virus software was shut down after it was caught selling user data.

Avast, a self-proclaimed “global leader in cybersecurity” has put user privacy and personal security first, and profiting from user data at the same time.

Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek wrote in a press release:

Protecting people is Avast’s top priority and must be embedded in everything we do in our business and in our products. Anything to the contrary is unacceptable. For these reasons, I – together with our board of directors – have decided to terminate the Jumpshot data collection and wind down Jumpshot’s operations, with immediate effect.

Like many ad tech companies, Jumpshot also relied on data obtained through third parties (in this case, Avast). If you have the Avast add-on installed, you can package data such as where you clicked and browsing preferences together, such as when and where you clicked on a Nike page. They were sharing data.

Vlcek claims that these data are “non-personally identifiable,” which is no good excuse. Especially if all your browsing history is involved.

Hundreds of employees lose their jobs when Jumpshot shuts down, but I think that’s expected. Avast prides itself on “always acting under the law” and providing add-on users with a privacy policy, but for those involved in the data industry, the key rules are almost illegible.

According to a letter sent to investors about the “media speculation” about Jumpshot , Avast secretary Alan Rassaby is expected to generate $36 million in Jumpstart alone. It was revealed that the revenue came from large companies-partners reported earlier, including Pepsi and Home Depot.

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