A lot of web users install and use browser security extensions made by leading antivirus vendors. These, they think, act as additional layers of online security. However, some of these browser security plug-ins and extensions may not be as reliable as you think. Two leading browsers discarded AVG and Avast online security extensions from web stores after they were slammed in a report. The report written by Wladimir Palant, the Adblock plus creator, made sensations. This report claims that both these browsers extensions suck up plenty of user data, including their browsing history. This development comes at a time when web users are becoming skeptical of using various online sites and services for safeguarding data privacy.
After the publication of the report, Opera and Mozilla, the companies making two popular web browsers reacted fast. They both removed the extensions, namely AVG SafePrice and Avast Online Security. However, they remain in Google’s Chrome extensions store. The plant used dev tools to find out that the extensions were amassing a massive amount of user data. He said the amount of data gathered by both extensions were alarming and not necessary. While both Avast and AVG have privacy policies that throw lights on user data collection, it is not clear how long the companies store the collected data from the users.
Mozilla said, on its part, it takes term violations by app developers seriously. If it finds any app is not complying with policies, the app can be removed. Opera did not say much on the issue but confirmed that it removed the apps from its store. Google is yet to respond to queries on the same. Avast is aware of the issue, and a spokesperson said the company is working with Mozilla to resolve the problem. He added that Avast has been offering the SafePrice browser extensions and Online Security for several years, and now the store policy of Mozilla has altered. So, eventually, it comes down to the end-users to be vigilant about data privacy, as is clear from this fiasco.