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AVG allowed to sell your browsing data with new ‘privacy policy’ update

In a somewhat Orwellian turn of events; AVG has updated its privacy policy. The security firm admits one of the amendments allows it to “make money from [its] free offerings with non-personal data. “

What does this mean for the average user exactly?

It means information including your device’s brand, language, apps in-use and more can be sold to the highest bidder. 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.

However, AVG will still collect data you willingly provide. It can also make use of tracking cookies to monitor your searches and activity on websites and applications. This information can then be compiled or used to “build anonymous data profiles” and create statistical information which can be sold to third parties.

A spokesperson for AVG has told tech company Wired UK that the updated privacy policy is an attempt to be more transparent- making sure people are aware that it can make money from it’s free products by selling user information. The new policy will be enforced from October 15th, 2015 and by continuing use of AVG products after this date; you have already agreed to the new data collection policies.

Steps can be taken to opt out of this process and the AVG spokesperson has ensured “users who do not want [the security firm] to use non-personal data in this way will be able to turn it off.”

However there have been no indications of whether these steps will be made explicitly aware to all AVG users from the 15th onward, or whether they will have to do some digging before learning how to opt out. 

About Kyran Wilson

Based in London, Kyran Wilson maintains a strong interest in scientific and technological news. In his free time, he enjoys political/philosophical discussion, cinema, mathematics and gaming.