Naturally, this news has not been received well by privacy activists. Alexander Hanff security expert and chief executive of Think Privacy says that this change puts AVG antivirus “squarely into the category of spyware”. Hanff has urged users to uninstall the software as soon as they can because it is “utterly unethical to [the] highest degree and a complete and total abuse of the trust we give our security software.”
Admittedly, this new policy from AVG is not too different from what Facebook or Google has been doing all this while. The only difference is that AVG provides antivirus software that is given unfettered access to our computers, where it is free to pry into every file.
It is definitely a concern if antivirus companies start selling customer meta data to third parties for profit; especially if those companies also offer paid versions of their products. Fortunately, there are plenty of other alternative anti-virus programmes out there to choose from that don’t sell our data to other people; well, as far as we know anyway.