Investigations are underway to examine Avast’s practice of collecting and selling its users’ browser histories.
Avast, which is based in the Czech Republic, claimed it was stripping away users’ personal details from the collected browser histories as a way to “de-identify” the data, and preserve their customers’ privacy. However, the joint investigation from PCMag and Motherboard found the contrary: The same data can actually be combined with other information to identify the web activities of individual Avast users, including their internet searches. As many as 100 million users had their data collected.
I’m glad there are investigations. As I found out last week, there are likely other companies participating in this data collection practice.