29 December 2019

Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome - criticised for excessive data collection

Google Chrome is the latest browser to drop AVG and Avast extensions after reports of excessive data snooping.

Back in October, a blog post from Wladimir Palant, founder and CTO at AdBlock Plus, highlighted that browser extensions created by the two security firms were hoovering up more data than necessary to function, especially versus rivals such as Google Safe Browsing. That data, according to the post, included user ID, where you're located, and how you got to a specific page.

After that report, Mozilla and Opera both pulled the AVG and Avast extensions, though the former reinstated one set of add-ons after changes to data collection were made. Google has now reportedly also followed that lead, removing the questionable extensions.

"I didn't expect to publish this update any more, but Avast extensions are now gone from Chrome Web Store as well," Palant tweeted. "Only AVG Online Security remains for some reason. Way to go Google!" The latter has 3,582 users, according to the Google Web Store.

Avast, which bought AVG in 2016, had not replied to a request for comment at the time of publishing.

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