AVAST: Jumpshot will be closed after privacy scandal

[German]The antivirus vendor AVAST announced its preparing to close down its subsidiary Jumpshot after the latest data scandal that I've also discussed in this blog.


Jumpshot and the sold AVAST user data

Regular blog readers will remember. A few days ago I unveiled the article Leak revealed: Avast user data was sold here within my blog. Via the AVAST subsidiary Jumpsho, the antivirus maker sold highly sensitive browser data of AVAST users to third parties. Buyers include many of the world's largest companies such as Home Depot, Google, Microsoft, Pepsi and McKinsey. And in December 2019 I had the blog post Mozilla removed Firefox Addons from AVG/AVAST. The Mozilla developers had blocked or removed the addons from the antivirus providers AVG and AVAST in Firefox. The possible reason: The addons of this provider (AVAST) probably shared private data.

I just came across the obove tweet, indicating, that the privacy issues doesn't went well at all.

AVAST announces the Wind Down of Jumpshot

Since the blog is monitored by the AVAST press relations department in terms of reporting on the manufacturer's products, a press release just came in from them. It announces the liquidation of the subsidiary Jumpshot. If you want to read the information (slightly abbreviated) just post it here.

Avast to Commence Wind Down of Subsidiary Jumpshot

Move reflects Avast's commitment to user safety and privacy protection

Avast today announced plans to terminate its provision of data to its subsidiary Jumpshot, Inc. and to commence a wind down of Jumpshot. All Avast products' core functionality will continue to perform as usual and users will see no change.

„Avast's core mission is to keep its users safe online and to give users control over their privacy," said Ondrej Vlcek, CEO of Avast. "The bottom line is that any practices that jeopardize user trust are unacceptable to Avast. We are vigilant about our users' privacy, and we took quick action to begin winding down Jumpshot's operations after it became evident that some users questioned the alignment of data provision to Jumpshot with our mission and principles that define us as a Company."

Mr. Vlcek also shared a personal letter on the decision to wind down Jumpshot, which can be found at avast.com.

In my eyes probably a necessary step – what went wrong there, that data was passed on at all, is not clear to me. Because one thing has to be established: If AVAST really does have people who understand security and data protection, they must have realised that the passing on of anonymised data would end in a disaster such as the one we have just seen. anonymisierter Daten in einem solchen Desaster, wie wir es jetzt gesehen habe, endet.


Transition period for Jumpshot customers

In the second part of the press release, AVAST addresses the customer side, i.e. customers of Jumpshot who buy data from them. AVAST writes about this:

Current Jumpshot customers are encouraged to contact Deren Baker for more information. Jumpshot intends to continue paying its vendors and suppliers in full as necessary and in the ordinary course for products and services provided to Jumpshot during its wind down process. Jumpshot will be promptly notifying its customers in due course about the termination of its data services.

"We regret the impact this will have on Jumpshot employees and we appreciate the contributions they have made. We will endeavor to make this transition as smooth as possible for them," said Mr. Vlcek.

If someone comes now and says: Why is Jumpshot not closed immediately – I can provide the explanation. AVAST has entered into contractual obligations through its daughter Jumpshot, but I don't know the details. There, some parts of the contract may have to be fulfilled.

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