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Old 19. Sep 2015, 12:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default AVG and Avast! is collecting your data

Some interesting reading here...
Avast and AVG anti-virus products collect personal data for selling to advertisers
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The Czech Republic-based security software vendor AVG, producer of one of the world’s most popular anti-virus software suites, has updated its privacy policy, which appears to now allow it to sell users’ data to advertisers.
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Avast plainly claimed that they collect the user information to ‘help them understand new and interesting trends (sic!).’ The privacy policy also stipulates that will share this user information with third parties outside Avast but the personal identifiable information will be removed. If you think, Avast only collected such user information only for its free product, you are being naive. The privacy policy of paid version of Avast also states the same.
The latter part of the 2nd quote about Avast! may not apply to Gizmo's but it's still an eye-opener.
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Old 19. Sep 2015, 01:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd have been surprised if it wasn't going on. When the big corporations do it then most others will follow suit.

It is so normal that many employees assume it is and they implement data collection even the corporation they work for has a policy that specifically exclude it.
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Old 19. Sep 2015, 01:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've been using Avira lately but I've kept Avast on one PC to see what happens with it. Avast has always had some nice user friendly features but at the same time it often is one of the first to try a new way to get us to upgrade from the free version. That's another reason that I'm not surprised.

I'm also happy for them to share non-identifiable information although the only way to know if it really is "personally" non-identifiable is to see it myself. Google and others seem to recognize "me" very quickly when I get a new computer even with a new user account. I'd say IP addresses are being collected somewhere. So if Avast were to supply IP addresses for networks I'm attached to then they don't identify me or my computer personally but that information is almost conclusive of who I am if it can be matched to information from other sources.

Anyway, it doesn't bother me because I assume that there is no anonymity unless I go to ridiculous lengths to ensure it.
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Old 19. Sep 2015, 01:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"Anyway, it doesn't bother me because I assume that there is no anonymity unless I go to ridiculous lengths to ensure it." ...

That last sentence in Remah's post is pretty much how I look at it now. Our data is being collected by all sorts of companies. It's the way of the world now.

Funny, because when I was looking at all the Win10 privacy stuff in the other thread and doing a bit of searching around I came across this;

"Forget about the WGA! 20+ Windows Vista Features and Services Harvest User Data for Microsoft"

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Forge...ft-58752.shtml

... and that piece is from 2007.

There's nothing new under the sun, as the saying goes, it's just that we're all more aware of it now. I have a 50 gig Box account and store loads of stuff in it. Why should I trust them any more than Microsoft or whoever? AV companies, cloud services, smartphones etc, all our stuff's there in some form or other.

All you can do is set up your system or device, privacy etc, the way you're comfortable with it and crack on with whatever it is you use them for. Nothing surprises me any more.
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Old 19. Sep 2015, 02:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by deya View Post
"Anyway, it doesn't bother me because I assume that there is no anonymity unless I go to ridiculous lengths to ensure it." ...

That last sentence in Remah's post is pretty much how I look at it now. Our data is being collected by all sorts of companies. It's the way of the world now.
I am sorry but with all due respect I beg to disagree. If Google, Microsoft and other big companies have conferred the right upon themselves to collect my personal information I reserve the right to use all means at my disposal to prevent them from doing so. Perhaps you feel it's a hopeless cause but the world will never change if every single person on earth is so ready to give up the fight. I fully appreciate what the ordinary user is up against but history has shown it was always a few who were willing to sacrifice for the greater good. I am personally satisfied that to resist this assault on privacy is right thing to do.
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Old 19. Sep 2015, 03:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One the one hand it is definitely a fight and I am thankful those who keep the pressure on these businesses produce. It will provide benefits for me even if I don't want/need them. So keep at it Joe.

I do draw a line but it is at a different place. At the moment that is Facebook and other social media sites (Google+, LinkedIn, etc) where personal identification and relationships are all explicitly defined by the user and harvested by the site. I will not use any of these sites.

On the other hand, I actively support many free software publishers making money out of my non-identifiable info.
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Old 19. Sep 2015, 07:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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...it is definitely a fight...
...and I believe it's worth it.
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Old 20. Sep 2015, 05:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The article is now showing a 404 error, and probably might have been deleted. Anyway all these things are commonplace these times, and it's safe to assume that while you are on the internet, you are being monitored someway or the other. It's just that you don't know about it, and it's not limited to just a few of them.

After all these years I haven't had a problem associated with it or been in trouble. After all, we are not alone in this mess.
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Old 20. Sep 2015, 01:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Understanding AVG’s new privacy policy;

http://now.avg.com/understanding-the...rivacy-policy/

I don't feel it's a hopeless cause, Joe, and totally respect your stance on privacy. Like most people here, I do what I can to try and limit what data is gathered while at the same time understanding that it won't stop it all. No social media for me either.

Free software and operating systems often do have a price, and in most cases that's data harvesting. But I also trust that here and in the EU these companies are monitored and policed by data protection laws, and if they overstep the mark they get penalised. So, even though they do push the boundaries, they also know the consequences of failing to stay within them.

Then on the other hand, and to use as an example, see what happens when MS refuses to breach said privacy laws by resisting handing over data;

https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/201...h-data-centre/

Right or wrong? .... and would they be so reluctant if they were selling it? Surely the same principles apply concerning all data? It all gets too complicated for most people.

But we do know that our data is being sold by many various organisations, and to a point where here in the UK it's hardly worth answering your landline telephone when it rings because it's nearly always someone calling to offer you some crap you neither want or need. I'm also pretty sure that they've obtained our personal information from utility companies and various other bodies, and not necessarily from any online activity. So it is a hard fight, and it's not just the internet.

Maybe the data protection laws are not strong enough in the first place? ... and only governments can change those.
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Old 20. Sep 2015, 08:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you for sharing your views deya.

From what I've read, the EU doesn't fool around when it comes to protecting the individual's right to privacy. Also, my impression is the EU Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, is doing an excellent job. Still, for watchdog agencies to be effective, people have to be serious about reporting any infractions. If nobody ever takes anything seriously then such agencies will become less effective than they should be.

Also, I admit that the case of Microsoft v.s. the U.S. Government is a very interesting one and the verdict may eventually have far-reaching consequences. However, what is at stake in that case is whether the U.S. Government has the power to compel a company which is registered in the United States to hand over data which physically resides in another country. I don't see what it has to do with companies collecting our personal data.

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Maybe the data protection laws are not strong enough in the first place? ... and only governments can change those.
Yes, but if everybody keeps quiet as if everything is hunky-dory then nothing will ever be done.
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