In October this year, AdBlock Plus developer Wladimir Palant revealed how Avast and AVG extensions published in additional web browser stores collect user data. This user data may allow the company to analyze user browsing sessions. Avast and AVG browser extensions were available in Opera, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Opera and Mozilla removed extensions earlier this month, and now Google has joined them by removing all extensions from the Chrome Web Store, with one exception. To give you an idea of its popularity, Avast has about 400 million users.
Google has removed Avast and AVG browser extensions from the Chrome Web Store. As of now, the AVG Online Security browser extension is only available in the Chrome Web Store. Google has not released a reason why it chose to remove these browser extensions. Google has removed Avast SafePrice, Avast Online Security and AVG SafePrice from the add-on store.
Avast and AVG browser extensions were discovered to collect user data, including website address, website address, browser version, type, user operating system, and other details. Other data collected with these add-ons can be used to limit the number of tabs the user has opened, the websites the user has visited, and how much time he has spent browsing those sites.
Palant states that it has reported browser extensions to Google and Mozilla because the company has violated the privacy of its users. While Mozilla extension lists are disabled, the company said it will work with Avast to fix things and make sure the plugins continue to work for existing users.
But since these browser extensions are not blacklisted by any of the major web browsers, existing users will continue to use them and these extensions will continue to spy on them, Palant notes. Avast, the owner of AVG, says users don’t have to worry about anything, because the data the company collects is anonymous.