back to article Difficult season: Antivirus-flinger Avast decides to 'wind down' Jumpshot

Avast will pull the plug on Jumpshot, its controversial data analytics business, after it was revealed the company was harvesting its users' data. The Brit antivirus firm ran into trouble last month when a security researcher, Wladimir Palant, found that the company's Firefox browser extensions were collecting customers' …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    AV or Marketing company?

    I stopped using avast's paid for AV after they began to constantly load popups trying to flog ever more stuff to me, there was no way of opting out and it drove me nuts.

    Even after deleting it there were items that were a bugger to remove from my PC.

    My impression is the company has lost any ethical bosses it had and replaced them with marketing wonks.

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: AV or Marketing company?

      If "Protecting people is Avast's top priority" then why start the program? I think there's a typo. It should read "Protecting Avast is Avast's top priority."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So they realised the loss of business from bad PR was more than they could make off the data then...

    Avast are quite a strong player in the small business space for AV software and they're a lot more susceptible to bad press than large enterprises are. I reckon they just did some sums based on the complaints they were getting and the spread of the story before working out this was the way to make the most money!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - Re: So they realised the loss of business from bad PR ....

      This is what happens when you start pissing off your customers before you lock them in properly.

  3. JohnFen Silver badge

    Too late

    Avast has already burnt that bridge.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: Too late

      There's a lesson to be learned there: once your costumers jump ship because they're not happy about your product (or your company) and start using something else, it's realy hard to bring them back. Best bet should be not to piss off costumers in the first place.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        "once your costumers jump ship"

        It's even worse if the entire wardrobe department fall overboard!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @MiguelC - Re: Too late

        I really do hope your memo gets to Facebook's attention.

      3. EnviableOne Silver badge

        Re: Too late

        the problem is their main competition in this space is themselves (AVG)

  4. Dabooka

    It's been said many times...

    ...if it's free, it's because you're the product. I was told that by a GCSE business teacher back in the very early 90s and it stuck with me.

    It's really bad when the paid for version still nicks your data. Utter crooks.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: It's been said many times...

      It's really bad when the paid for version still nicks your data.

      "If you're not paying for it, you're the product" is still true; but now you're also the product if you are paying for it.

      And not just in software / web / IoT land. You pay for cell service, cable / satellite / streaming, buying products in retail stores, etc. etc. Those companies all happily flog private and sensitive customer data to anyone who puts up the cash, regardless of whether you participate in their so-called loyalty programs.

      Note also that GDPR was in full effect when Avast (an EU-based company) pulled this crap. They might get some kind of token fine eventually, but clearly GDPR was not a deterrent.

      Bottom line: assume that you're always the product, unless you can prove otherwise.

      1. Dabooka
        Thumb Up

        Re: It's been said many times...

        Great post, tragically you're right; I need update my own understanding!

        Crikey, where did it all go wrong...

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: It's been said many times...

          Cookies. That's when it all went wrong.

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: It's been said many times...

          It all went wrong when we allowed marketing companies to effectively take control.

  5. fnusnu

    Brit? Czech, surely?

    1. joe bloggs 6

      Czech

      Avast Software s.r.o.

      with its registered office at Pikrtova 1737/1a, Prague 4, Nusle, Postal Code 140 00, Czech Republic

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      @fnusnu

      That's what I thought, and don't call me Shirley.

    3. Kientha

      Czech company, headquartered in Prague. All I can think is that they're listed on the London Stock Exchange

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Use Norton or Eset and sleep well at night.

    1. JCitizen
      Megaphone

      @noflyzone

      I've had too many years doing support for poor bastards that used Norton (Symantec) than to EVER recommend them!! ESET is probably the best AV bar none, but I get by pretty well with my lifetime licence of Malwarebytes Anti-malware. It is pretty much an AV as well as an AM solution now. I does a better job by itself than Avast has been able to for years now. I was quite the Avast fan for many years - but when detection got so low with all the products out there, it was better to at least use something that could thwart ransomware - which MBAM has a reputation of being able to do. It also keeps some undetected malware from gaining operating system permissions, which makes it more valuable than any other cheap solution. I don't know what NOD32 charges for a year now, but I'd assume it isn't cheap.

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