Avast Prohibited from Sharing Users’ Internet Activity with Advertisers

Avast Phone Getty
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday said it will ban the antivirus giant Avast from selling consumers’ web browsing data to advertisers after Avast claimed its products would prevent its users from online tracking. Avast also settled the federal regulator’s charges for $16.5 million, which the FTC said will provide redress for Avast’s users whose sensitive browsing data was improperly sold on to ad giants and data brokers. But the FTC alleged that Avast sold consumers’ browsing data through its now-shuttered subsidiary, Jumpshot, to more than a hundred other companies, making Avast tens of millions of dollars in revenue. The regulator said that the browsing data that Jumpshot sold revealed consumers’ religious beliefs, health concerns, political leanings, their location, and other sensitive information. The reports found Jumpshot was also selling access to its users’ click data, including the specific web links that its users were clicking on.