Avast Collects User Data for Sale: Is it a Reliable Security Program?

### Avast Security Software Caught Selling User Data

Avast, a well-known provider of antivirus and security software, also offers protection programs for Mac. The necessity and extent of such software’s usefulness can be debated—especially considering macOS’s array of built-in, effective security mechanisms. However, those considering an additional layer of security should think twice about using Avast.

![Avast Logo](image_url)

In a report by security magazine BleepingComputer, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has found that Avast collected, stored, and sold the browser data of millions of users without their knowledge or consent. More controversially, the Avast products used for data collection were marketed as tools to protect users‘ data against such privacy breaches.

### FTC Condemns Avast’s Exceptionally Brazen Practices

FTC Chair, Lina M. Khan, expressed concern over Avast’s misleading practices. Normally, the FTC deals with cases where companies misrepresent their data handling practices. However, Avast’s explicit marketing of its products to protect browser data, while simultaneously exploiting that data, is unprecedented. The scale of the data involved is also shocking: from 2014 to 2020, more than eight petabytes of browsing information were collected, including detailed records of visited web pages, visitation times, and user location data. Avast is said to have sold this information to third parties on more than 100 occasions.

In addition to the loss of trust and the economic damage stemming from these revelations, Avast faces a significant financial penalty. The FTC intends to impose a $16.5 million fine and prohibit the company from further selling the data or licensing it for advertising purposes.

This case highlights the deep-seated issue of privacy infringement within the tech industry, serving as a wake-up call for both consumers and companies. As the digital age evolves, the importance of ethical data practices and the protection of user privacy has never been more critical. Users must stay informed and vigilant, questioning the intentions and practices of software providers that claim to guard their data.
source: https://www.ifun.de/avast-angebliches-sicherheitsprogramm-sammelt-nutzerdaten-zum-verkauf-228113/

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