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Avast ends Jumpshot after alleged user data scandal

Avast has decided that it will close down Jumpshot, the subsidiary that proposed to help brands and agencies based on consumers' online behavior. The decision comes after an investigation revealed that the company was selling private data from its customers to companies such as Google, Microsoft and even Tripadvisor, Pepsi and Sephora.

The investigation revealed that the Czech cybersecurity company allegedly would collect information such as user searches on Google or its activity on LinkedIn and YouTube without their consent. The data was then transferred to Jumpshot, which sold it to large companies, which were willing to pay millions of dollars for products like the "All Clicks Feed" system. The solution allows you to track user behavior, clicks and their "movement" on the sites.

Avast's main mission is to keep users around the world safe and I understand that the latest news about Jumpshot has disappointed many of our customers, partners, employees and investors, says Ondrej Vlcek, CEO of the Czech cybersecurity company in a blog post on Avast.

Avast's CEO says that Jumpshot has operated independently from the beginning, developing its products with data legally collected by the cybersecurity company. Both Avast and Jumpshot acted within the limits of the law, says the official, adding that the organizations have committed to comply with those of the General Data Protection Regulation.

The official says that the priority of protecting users must be present in all aspects of the company and, therefore, decided that it will put an end to the activities of the subsidiary created in 2015. However, Avast has not yet indicated when the closure actually happen and, to date, the Jumpshot website is still active.

The impact of the investigation that revealed the alleged collection and sale of users' private data without their consent is already manifesting itself. The incident caused a drop in the order of 13% of Avast's shares on the London Stock Exchange.

Remember that this is not the first time that Avast faces problems related to the collection of user data. Still in December 2019, Google removed extensions from the Chrome Web Store antivirus after an investigation by Wladimir Palant, the creator of Adblock Plus. However, extensions were once again available after Avast indicated in an international press release that it made changes to its privacy policy and the way it collects data.