AVG Updates Privacy Policy, Will Sell Your Non-Identifying Data

21 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AVG Updates Privacy Policy, Will Sell Your Non-Identifying Data.

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.Antivirus major AVG Technologies have updated its privacy policy and the company is already facing a backlash as the changes proposed to the privacy policy allow AVG to sell the browsing data of consumers. 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 security firm admits one of the amendments allows it to “make money from [its] free offerings with non-personal data. “ It means information including your device’s brand, language, apps in-use and more can be sold to the highest bidder. 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.

The company argues it will not sell anything that can be used to directly identify you, and that the data it does retrieve is still stored anonymously, with no possibility of it being connected to your identity. It will use cookies to track web searches and browsing activities, allowing the company to “build anonymous data profiles” and collect statistical data to be sold. 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. However, the company stressed that it won’t be selling any identifying information, and that all data is anonymized in such a way that it can be linked back to users.

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. AVG representatives told Wired that its practices haven’t changed; rather, they’re just reworded in the new privacy policy that goes into effect on October 15. 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. 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.

This is usually done by security firms to help research firms with their studies and experiments although it is still quite alarming and dangerous that a big company is selling information of users without informing them. 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. About the reasons behind its collection of users’ “non-personal data,” AVG said: “We provide products and services to help you secure your data, devices, and personal privacy.

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