We live in the age of the global behemoth Facebook–who takes our data, sells it away, and makes millions. Sure, the service is free, and we all use it–but can AVG do the same? Some are arguing that an “Internet Security” company has no ethical reason to do this.
Many of you might know AVG as a reputable free antivirus software. It brands itself with a logo that looks like four colorful puzzle pieces. The software has gathered a large following over the years and many people reply on it for security. How could such an innocent logo hide such a beast within?
In a recent announcement and clearly written privacy statement, AVG has announced that it’s going to start selling user data to remain free. It’s using the “Facebook” model, and many of its outlined uses of data sound downright sketchy.
AVG is collecting an advertising ID associated with your device that includes browsing and search history including metadata, your Internet service provider, and even your approximate location which can include your zip code, time zone, and mobile network. Even data like your IP address and email can be used to offer third-party products and services.
AVG plans to use this data to create anonymous profiles, so you stay protected, but with over 200 million active users, and no explanation of how they plan on doing this–it’s hard to stay confident and trust AVG when it’s selling out so hard.
To make things even more scary, AVG also says it might share some of its collected data with resellers in other countries that don’t have as strict privacy laws as the United States.
Ironically enough, AVG recently acquired VPN service HideMyAss. They issued a statement explaining their purchase saying that “Privacy is the new currency of the digital era, particularly as the Internet population is expected to double over the next five years”. Anyone who is concerned about privacy should be very hesitant in trusting a security company that agrees to sell user data to advertisers.
So what is an AVG user to do after this announcement?
Well, it seems like AVG has left no room for you to maneuver. If you were to follow AVG’s statements it would be only reasonable to assume that they don’t even want you to use their services any longer if you value your privacy.
Effectively, AVG is still giving you a choice if you want to share information, just not within the bounds of their product.
Want to stay private? Say goodbye to AVG.
Want to say secure and encrypted? Say hello to TorGuard VPN! Unlike AVG, who plans to collect user information for marketing purposes, TorGuard takes your privacy seriously and would never sell your information to a third party.
TorGuard has multiple offerings ranging from an anonymous VPN, proxy service, email, and Stealth VPN so that every user can stay encrypted based on their needs.