Google Removes Avast And AVG Extensions From Chrome Web Store

Google has kicked Avast and AVG browser extensions out of the Chrome Web store. The two were found guilty of uploading user data which is contrary to the set rules Google has established to govern how extensions handle user data.

This was after Wladimir Palant, the creator of the popular adblocker extension, Adblock Plus detailed how the four extensions have been mining and uploading user browsing profiles. The four include AVG/Avast Online Security and AVG/Avast SafePrice.

“The data collected here goes far beyond merely exposing the sites that you visit and your search history,” wrote Wladimir in his blog.

“Tracking tab and window identifiers, as well as your actions, allows Avast to create a nearly precise reconstruction of your browsing behavior.”

Avast has faced similar issues with other browsers as well – Mozilla and Opera – earlier this month. The company has since resolved the problems by working with Firefox, and the extensions have been relisted.

As per the time of writing, Google has removed only three of the four affected extensions – Avast SafePrice, Avast Online Security, and AVG SafePrice – but one (AVG Online Security) is still available.

All of the extensions under question belong to Avast since the company acquired AVG technologies as a subsidiary back in 2016.

In response to The INQUIRER, Avast denied data-mining claims. Instead, the company says this is just a way in which their services work.

“In order for our browser extensions to do their job of detecting and blocking threats, we need to be able to collect URL data. This is how our and other antivirus solutions work,” a spokesperson said.

“We strive to collect only the data necessary to provide our services. Avast follows GDPR- compliant industry best practices, which are described in its Privacy Policy.”

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin Wanjala has been writing about technology for over 2 years. He writes about different topics in the consumer tech space. He loves streaming music, programming, and gaming during downtimes.

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