Avast has announced that will shut down its Jumpshot data-selling subsidiary.
Vice and PCMag reported earlier this week that they had acquired documents showing how Avast uses Jumpshot to sell detailed versions of people’s Internet browsing histories.
The reports claimed that this data included web searches on Google, location searches on Google Maps, visits to LinkedIn pages, specific YouTube videos, and interactions on porn websites.
“Protecting people is Avast’s top priority and must be embedded in everything we do in our business and in our products. Anything to the contrary is unacceptable,” said Avast CEO Ondrej Vicek.
“For these reasons, I – together with our board of directors – have decided to terminate the Jumpshot data collection and wind down Jumpshot’s operations, with immediate effect.”
Why Jumpshot was created
Vicek said that Jumpshot was started in 2015 to extend the company’s data analytics capabilities.
“This was during a period where it was becoming increasingly apparent that cybersecurity was going to be about big data. We thought we could leverage our tools and resources to do this more securely than the countless other companies that were collecting data.”
He said that Jumpshot has operated as an independent company from its inception, including its own management and board of directors.
Vicek insisted that during its existence, Jumpshot acted fully within legal bounds, including committing itself to 100% GDPR compliance.
He said that when he became CEO of Avast 7 months ago, he reevaluated every part of Avast’s business – including Jumpshot.
“During this process, I came to the conclusion that the data collection business is not in line with our privacy priorities as a company in 2020 and beyond.”
Vicek acknowledged that shutting Jumpshot down would negatively impact Jumpshot employees and customers, but added that it is still the right decision.