- Advertising ID associated with your device;
- Browsing and search history, including meta data;
- Internet service provider or mobile network you use to connect to our products; and
- Information regarding other applications you may have on your device and how they are used
AVG says it collects this data “to make money from our free offerings so we can keep them free.”
So, mountain or molehill?
I guess it depends on one’s own perspective. On the one hand, should we be applauding AVG for its honesty and transparency? As I said earlier, I’ll almost wager that this practice is not uncommon among security software vendors, they just haven’t disclosed their activities in similar plain language as AVG has.
AVG has also intimated that users will be afforded the opportunity to opt out of some data collection:
You have the right to opt out of the use or collection of certain data, including personal data and non-personal data, by following the instructions here*.
Although, because the new policy is not yet in force, details of the what and how are yet to be disclosed.
On the other hand, while the practice of collecting data for sale appears to be fast becoming the norm among major software distributors, it is somewhat unsettling to learn in no uncertain terms that an antivirus program is tracking and monetizing its users’ browsing history, ostensibly to help fund free editions. Seems we, the users, are fast becoming the commodity.
What do you think?