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FTC Fines Avast

Avast, a company specializing in developing cybersecurity software, has been fined $16.5 million by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

FTC Fines Avast

The mentioned regulator accused the firm of involvement in the practice of selling customers’ data to third parties. The FTC alleges that the company collected and sold information about consumer browsing without their knowledge and consent.

In this case, a kind of paradox of the situation lies in the fact that Avast officially positions itself as a brand promising to protect users’ data from online tracking. At the same time, the company is acting contrary to the officially stated goal.

Avast is currently one of several brands owned by Gen Digital, a publicly traded firm with two headquarters in Tempe, Arizona, and Prague, Czech Republic.

The FTC alleges that Avast Limited, based in the United Kingdom and doing business through a Czech subsidiary, claimed to block tracking cookies that collect data and prevent other trackers from following online activity only to sell the relevant information to third parties then. The regulator stated that the company has been involved in this practice since at least 2014.

The FTC claims that Avast informed users that it would only share information in an anonymous and aggregated form, although this was not the case. The regulator said the company sold the materials to more than 100 clients, including consulting firms, advertising brands, and data brokers.

Avast has also been banned by the FTC to prohibit the company from selling or licensing data for advertising purposes.

Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said the firm promised users to protect privacy, but did the opposite.

Avast confirmed to the media that it has reached an agreement with the FTC to resolve an investigation related to its subsidiary Jumpshot, which ceased operations in 2020. At the same time, the company stated its disagreement with the accusations of the regulator and the characterization of the facts.

As we have reported earlier, FTC Strengthens Cooperation With Latin American Organizations.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.