An antivirus program used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide is selling highly sensitive web-browsing data to many of the world's biggest companies.
Marketers who may be wondering Jumpshot how obtained all that valuable browser data now know.
It seems that a joint investigation by Motherboard and PCMag has found the antivirus company Avast has been selling its users' internet browsing data through its subsidiary Jumpshot, to clients that include Pepsi, Google, and Microsoft, reports Motherboard.
Senator Mark Warner told the media outlet that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is not doing enough to police this sort of data selling.
In a tweet, Joseph Cox, a reporter at Motherboard covering hackers and crime, posted an update from the FTC that said: “We are very familiar with how these markets for data operate and will not hesitate to take appropriate action as necessary where we find conduct that violates the laws we enforce.”
The data gathered by the investigation contain Google searches, lookups of location and GPS coordinated on Google Maps, people visiting companies’ LinkedIn pages, YouTube videos and people visiting porn websites.
It’s also possible to gain from the anonymized user visited sites and in some cases the keywords and search terms entered into the search engine of the sites, according to the report.
Avast, which claims to have 435 million active users monthly, collects data from users who opt-in and then provides that data to Jumpshot.
“Multiple Avast users told Motherboard they were not aware Avast sold browsing data, raising questions about how informed that consent is,” Cox reported.