They show that the Avast antivirus program installed on a person’s computer collects data, and that Jumpshot repackages it into various different products that are then sold to many of the largest companies in the world. Some past, present, and potential clients include Google, Yelp, Microsoft, McKinsey, Pepsi, Sephora, Home Depot, Condé Nast, Intuit, and many others. Some clients paid millions of dollars for products that include a so-called “All Clicks Feed,” which can track user behavior, clicks, and movement across websites in highly precise detail.
They also collected your Google online searches and GPS tracking information.
In a tweet sent last month intended to entice new clients, Jumpshot noted that it collects “Every search. Every click. Every buy. On every site” [emphasis Jumpshot’s.]
I did not use Avast but I was using Malwarebytes. Since its “free”, it means I am the product and I just uninstalled Malwarebytes. AVG is a subsidiary of Avast and had long provided a “free” antivirus program which, apparently, was spyware. I had used AVG from time to time on older computers.
It is very likely that these tools were openly violating the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act, as well.
This is reminiscent of a program called Gramblr – a free application that enabled one to post or schedule posts of photos to Instagram from your PC or Mac, since Instagram has always made it hard to post photos from a computer. Gramblr, however, was a fraud. Behind the scenes, each time you posted a photo to Instagram, it secretly played Youtube videos to increase video views and falsely “Liked” those videos. (I independently verified this back then and can confirm this was indeed how it worked.)
Youtube could not easily detect this fraud because the video views came from all over the world, from individual computers.
Gramblr’s business model was to sell “clicks” on Youtube videos, since the Youtube algorithm tended to share much watched videos more. In order to grow an audience, many people bought fake views and Gramblr delivered the fake views – Gramblr was a click fraud business. Over a year ago, Gramblr mysteriously vanished from the online world.
Your privacy might be safer using Mac OS X and Linux OS.