The Avast/AVG case

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Did you and/or your children have Avast antivirus software on your computer, tablet, phone or laptop between 2014 and 30 January 2020? Or were you using internet browsers and/or browser extensions from Avas,t such as Avast Online Security or AVG Secure Browser? If so, your data was probably sold on to third parties by Avast via Jumpshot for a lot of money without your consent.

In this first case, CUIC represents the interests of residents of the Netherlands who have been victims of privacy violations by Avast. Investigations show that Avast violated core principles of Dutch and European privacy laws. Avast's virus filtering and security software made your computer safe from malware, for example, but in the meantime Avast secretly collected all kinds of data from you. These included sensitive data on the basis of which, for example, sexual preferences or orientation, health or religious beliefs could be found out. The data was then sold via subsidiary Jumpshot to third parties -such as Google and Microsoft- for a lot of money. To avoid opt-outs and fuss, Avast kept quiet about collecting this data for commercial purposes.

Avast is an international software maker and is known for its antivirus and security software and services. It is estimated that around five million residents of the Netherlands had spying Avast software on their devices. Support our fight against Avast and join our lawsuit free of charge

Avast's promise: maximum security

We know better than anyone how important it is to install an antivirus and security software on your computer or laptop. Avast [now acquired by Gen Digital, previously Norton] is the maker of much lauded virus filters, including (free) browsers and 'browser extensions’. It was sold under various product names, such as Avast Online Security, AVG Online Security, Avast Secure Browser, CCleaner, AVG Online Security extension and the AVG Secure Browser. The products were also sold under other product names, all of which are relevant for this case. In advertisements, Avast capitalized on the need for digital security by appealing to parents on their responsibility to protect their children "to the maximum" when surfing. Once Avast was installed, you were protected against malicious software, such as malware, among other things.

The reality: AVAST spied on their users and sold their data. What the users did not know is that their browsing behavior and other information was collected in order to then sell it on to third parties, who would use this data for their own commercial purposes, including behavioral targeting and profiling.

For instance, Avast collected information about sexual preferences or orientation, health and religious beliefs. Probably, to avoid unsubscribes and agitation, Avast did not inform its users about this data collection. This illegal and secret data processing took place for at least six years and was only discontinued in 2020, after independent investigators and journalists disclosed this.

In January 2020, Jumpshot still enthusiastically praised it on its website: "Incredibly detailed clickstream data from 100 million global online shoppers and 20 million global app users. Analyze it however you want: track what users searched for, how they interacted with a particular brand or product, and what they bought. Look into any category, country, or domain."

Several media have published on the misbehavior of Avast. For example:

CUIC demands compensation for injured consumers

CUIC is demanding compensation for Avast users living in the Netherlands whose privacy has been violated by Avast. With this, we want to achieve two things: first, reparation for those whose data have been sold. Second, we want to set an example for all companies. For many companies, privacy is a 'finishing touch' rather than an essential factor in software design. There are also still companies that do not ask for explicit consent before using any of your data for purposes that aren’t simply and clearly presented to the user.

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Did you have anti-virus software from Avast between 2014 up to 30 January 2020? Did you use any Avast/AVG anti virus products on your computer, mobile phone or laptop? For example, browsers or 'browser extensions’ with product names such as Avast Online Security, AVG Online Security, Avast Secure Browser, CCleaner, AVG Online Security extension or AVG Secure Browser or another Avast/AVG product name? Your data has been commercially resold by Avast through Jumpshot to third parties without your consent. Join our fight against Avast. The more users sign up, the more likely it is that CUIC will succeed in securing compensation for all injured parties.

So sign up for the Avast case.