Compliance Management, Network Security, Privacy

AVG publishes new blunt, open privacy policy for its free app

Internet security software provider AVG clarified its privacy policy to better inform users how it gathers and shares the personal information collected when a user downloads its free app.

“We provide products and services to help you secure your data, devices, and personal privacy," the new privacy policy stated. "We use data to improve those products and services; provide support; send notifications, offers, and promotions; and to make money from our free offerings so that we can continue to offer them for free.”

The new privacy policy, which goes into effect on October 15, clearly explained that AVG can pretty much use any of its customer's data for its own purposes, including sharing it with a variety of AVG-related companies.

“We may share some of your personal data, such as your email address, with certain selected resellers, distributors and other partners to enable them to contact you on our behalf about products, services or offers we believe are important to you or your business, to fulfill any terms under your licensing and service relationship with AVG, or to provide you local technical and customer support,” the privacy policy stated.

The personal information collected by AVG includes names, addresses, telephone numbers and email. The company also disclosed the type of non-personal identifying information gathered, such as data on malware threats, browsing history, device usage, device type and location.

AVG said it will attempt to scrub certain information collected that could lead to a third party discovering a customer's identity and also anonymize some information.

“For instance, although we would consider your precise location to be personal data if stored separately, if we combined the locations of our users into a data set that could only tell us how many users were located in a particular country, we would not consider this aggregated information to be personally identifiable,” the policy said.

Users will be able to opt out of having their data collected and disseminated, but AVG did not yet release the methodology on how to do so.

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