“At the moment we are collecting information on the whole case. There is a suspicion of a serious and extensive breach of the protection of users’ personal data. Based on the findings, further steps will be taken and general public will be informed in due time.”–Ms Ivana Janů, President of the Czech Office for Personal Data Protection
The investigation follows reports in PCMag and Vice that Avast’s subsidiary Jumpshot was selling users data. Avast didn’t deny selling the data but says it was fully anonymized. But reporters found that the data could easily be tied back to individual Avast users. Therefore exposing the private internet searches and browsing histories of millions to third parties.
Avast shuddered Jumpshot shortly after the news broke, and the CEO apologized to users.
“Avast’s core mission is to keep its users safe online and to give users control over their privacy,” said Ondrej Vlcek, CEO of Avast. “The bottom line is that any practices that jeopardize user trust are unacceptable to Avast. We are vigilant about our users’ privacy, and we took quick action to begin winding down Jumpshot’s operations after it became evident that some users questioned the alignment of data provision to Jumpshot with our mission and principles that define us as a Company.”