AVG’s updated their Privacy Policy to sell non-identifying data

21 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AVG Can Sell Your Info For Money.

We’ll give security firm AVG a little credit: At least it isn’t trying to be deceptive about what it might do with your data. A Reddit discussion has heard from furious users who spotted that the simplified policy effectively gives the company permission to sell its mailing lists to third parties for fun and profit.AVG, the Czech antivirus company, has announced a new privacy policy in which it boldly and openly admits it will collect user details and sell them to online advertisers for the objective of continuing to fund its freemium-based products.Security software magnate AVG has just updated its privacy policy’s language and the company admitted in a revised document that it can “make money from [its] free offerings with non-personal data.” These “non-personal” info can have your device’s brand, language and apps in use and the list goes on.

Antivirus major AVG Technologies announced changes to its privacy policy which will permit the company to sell some of the non-indentifying data about the antivirus users. Unfortunately, its updated plan to collect your browser history (and a list of any searches you’ve made while using said browser)—”non-personal data,” as the company describes—does leave some users of its free apps a bit skeptical. AVG stated under ‘Do You Share My Data?’ in the Q&A about the new policy, which is automatically enforced on 15 October: “Yes, though when and how we share it depends on whether it is personal data or non-personal data.

The company insists it can not outline each and every type of data collected, but the list does include data concerning potential malware threats to your devices, how you use AVG software and information concerning your devices such as installation rates, language and manufacturer. The company is resolute that it doesn’t put on the market anything with identify information, and the information that it does gather is in anonymity and kept without anything that can backlink to you. AVG may share non-personal data with third parties and may publicly display aggregate or anonymous information.” AVG has hit back at the criticism in a blog post today, by which we mean confirmed that its stance is correct, explaining: “Usage data allows [AVG] to customise the experience for customers and share data with third parties that allow them to improve or develop new products. “This is also how taxi firms know how to distribute their fleets, and how advertisers know where to place banners and billboards, for example.

As per the updated policy, AVG can gather data you yourself give, and in addition it can utilize cookies to follow your searchers and your activities on various websites, apps and among other products. Even at AVG, we have published non-personal information that we have collected regarding app performance.” This will placate some, but others fear that the lack of choice over this matter, which requires an active decision to opt out, is too clandestine. AVG’s updated policy reads: “For instance, although we would consider your precise location to be personal data if stored separately, if we combined the locations of our users into a data set that could only tell us how many users were located in a particular country, we would not consider this aggregated information to be personally identifiable,” AVG’s privacy policy notes. Several Redditors have likened it to similar warnings in Windows 10’s Insider Programme which essentially say: ‘we can track you … but we won’t, unless we do.’ µ There wasn’t a mention of collecting users’ browser histories, nor any indication that AVG was taking that data and selling it to others. “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.

Transparent the policy certainly seems to be, and it will be up to users whether or not they accept the sale of their data in return for a free product. Therefore, we have updated our Privacy Policy to make it simpler, clearer and more transparent – representing only part of continual evolution to improve AVG user choice and control.” Said Harvey Anderson, Chief Legal Officer at AVG Technologies.

While AVG has not utilised 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,” an AVG spokesperson told Wired. Users can choose to opt-out of certain data collection techniques, but information on how doing that, and what you can opt-out of, won’t be available until the policy goes live. AVG released a One-Page Privacy Policy article where they explained in detail how their 200 million monthly active users’ information has been used. With users being accustomed to clicking “Agree” on license agreements and privacy policies without so much as glancing at the document; it is unlikely many will have knowledge of their acceptance of this practice.

Also, they made clear that taking advantage of the non-identifying data will help them make money from their free services and that their users’ personal information will not be at risk For instance, the company explained why the users’ non-personal information was important to sell: “knowing that 10 million users like a certain TV program, gives broadcasters the data to get producers to make more of that type of program. No such thing as free lunch applies to you surfing suspect websites and downloading attachment in your email promising however many millions from some Nigerian prince. The company wanted to released their new adjustments just a month before it becomes effective in order to give their users time to provide any feedback and concerns they might have. We use data to improve those products and services; provide support; send notifications, offers, and promotions.” What comes as free antivirus software, will be charged from users by selling their private data.

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