AVG Will Sell Users' Browsing Histories and More in Updated Privacy Policy

By Laura Stotler September 22, 2015

AVG has found a new way to capitalize on the “non-identifying” data it collects from users. The company recently updated its privacy policy to reveal that it will be selling some user data from its free offerings as a way to make money and keep its apps free. The company will collect users’ browser history, including a list of searches made using the browser, as a way to fund its apps.

The company’s updated privacy policy reveals that it collects browsing and search history, including metadata, from users who install its free security apps. It also aggregates advertising IDs associated with individual devices and keeps tabs on users’ ISPs and mobile network usage along with information on other applications on user devices and how they are being used.

Image via Shutterstock

The company added that it may anonymize and aggregate data that might otherwise be considered personally identifying. This could include information on users’ precise locations, which might be considered personal if stored on its own. But combined with the locations of other users it could provide valuable information on the number of users located in a specific region and would not be considered “personally identifiable.”

"Those users who do not want us to use non-personal data in this way will be able to turn it off, without any decrease in the functionality our apps will provide,” an AVG spokesperson told Wired magazine. “While AVG has not utilized data models to date, we may, in the future, provided that it is anonymous, non-personal data, and we are confident that our users have sufficient information and control to make an informed choice."

AVG added that its data collection usage and practices haven’t actually changed, only the wording in its privacy policy. That may come as a bit of a shock to many users of the company’s free security apps, since AVG previously indicated it could collect data for “the words you search” and nothing more. Previous privacy policies did not indicate the company was collecting data from users’ browser histories, nor was there a mention of selling that data to other parties.




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More

Satellite Imaging - Petabytes of Developer, Business Opportunities

By: Doug Mohney    4/11/2018

Hollywood has programmed society into believing satellite imaging as a magic, all-seeing tool, but the real trick is in analysis. Numerous firms are f…

Read More

Blockchain in Space

By: Doug Mohney    4/10/2018

The fact is that everyone is putting a special spin upon blockchain this minute. Given that, it's no surprise a number of companies are discussing dis…

Read More