Avast plans to terminate its provision of data to its subsidiary Jumpshot, Inc. and to commence a wind down of Jumpshot, after being at the center of a data privacy scandal.
Avast allegedly collected data on what many of its users did online and sent it to Jumpshot, which then offered to sell the information to clients, media reports said this week. Avast denied the allegations and began a review on Wednesday.
Jumpshot, which Avast started in 2015, analyses consumers' online habits by measuring their search, click and buy patterns across thousands of categories from over 150 websites, including Amazon, Google, Netflix, and Walmart.
“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.”
He added that Jumpshot and Avast have acted "fully within legal bounds" and that both companies were committed to full compliance with GDPR, Europe's rules on data protection.
All Avast products’ core functionality will continue to perform as usual and users will see no change, Avast said.
Jumpshot intends to continue paying its vendors and suppliers in full as necessary and in the ordinary course for products and services provided to Jumpshot during its wind down process. Jumpshot will be notifying its customers in due course about the termination of its data services.
“We regret the impact this will have on Jumpshot employees and we appreciate the contributions they have made. We will endeavor to make this transition as smooth as possible for them,” said Mr. Vlcek.
“Avast has a long track record of protecting users’ devices and data against malware through our award-winning products, and the Company understands and takes seriously the responsibility to balance user privacy with the necessary use of data,” said Mr. Vlcek. “With the ever-changing nature of threats to users online today and in the future, Avast is focused on innovating to enhance our products for the benefit of our users and the protection of their privacy. To that end, we will continue to demonstrate our innovative new products and security as we move forward with a singular vision in 2020 and beyond.”