Avast hit with 16.5 million dollar fine for selling your browsing data

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Avast, the antivirus giant, has been slapped with a $16.5 million fine by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The “privacy” software was allegedly harvesting users’ browsing data from 2014 to 2020 and selling it off to advertisers.  Avast collected information on everything from health concerns to political views, all under the guise of eliminating web tracking.

Despite Avast’s claims that they had anonymized this data, the FTC found that it included unique identifiers that could trace back to individual users.

The proposed FTC order now forbids Avast from selling browsing data and mandates the deletion of all data obtained through its subsidiary, Jumpshot. Avast has agreed to the settlement.

Under the order, the company must also notify customers whose data was sold. This move is part of a broader FTC crackdown on companies who it feels misuse or do not appropriately protect user data, signaling a stricter stance on digital privacy rights.

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