Avast will phase out Jumpshot, a subsidiary that sells user browsing data gleaned from its antivirus and security products.
“I – together with our board of directors – have decided to terminate the Jumpshot data collection and wind down Jumpshot’s operations, with immediate effect,” Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek announced in a blog, going on to say “that the data collection business is not inline with our privacy priorities in a company in 2020 and beyond.”
Avast’s sudden about-face regarding the sale of user data came just days after a joint exposé published by Motherboard and PCMag that revealed the depth and scope of its user data tracking. The article resulted in a torrent of negative publicity for the company, especially for its promise to deliver data on “every search. Every click. Every buy. On every site.” to companies such as Pepsi, Google, Microsoft, Yelp, Condé Nast, and Home Depot.
The controversy surrounding Avast’s business practices all drew the ire of U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders, Mark Warner, and Ron Wyden.
“No reasonable person would expect antivirus software to be selling off their private browsing data to the highest bidder,” said a spokesperson for Sanders.