AVG will sell user browsing and search info to advertisers

Starting on October 15, when its new privacy policy comes into effect, Czech AV maker AVG will start selling user activity information to online advertisers.

“We do not, and will not, sell personally identifiable data to anyone, including advertisers,” the company noted. “[We] may share non-personal data with third parties and may publicly display aggregate or anonymous information.”

What they will sell (to make money from their free offerings so they can keep them free):

  • The advertising ID associated with users’ device,
  • Users’ browsing and search history, including meta data
  • Information about the ISP or mobile network users’ use to connect to AVG products
  • Information regarding other applications users may have on their device and how they are used.

“Sometimes browsing history or search history contains terms that might identify you. If we become aware that part of your browsing history might identify you, we will treat that portion of your history as personal data, and will anonymize this information,” they explained in the new privacy policy.

“We may also aggregate and/or anonymize personal data we collect about you. For instance, although we would consider your precise location to be personal data if stored separately, if we combined the locations of our users into a data set that could only tell us how many users were located in a particular country, we would not consider this aggregated information to be personally identifiable.”

Users are advised to peruse the new easy-to-read policy, and to decide for themselves if they are ready to agree to these terms. No data will be collected or shared until October 15.

One must give props to the company for two things: they obviously want users to know and understand the new policy (it’s short and pretty clear) and to make a decision for themselves.