AVG Privacy Policy: why being too honest is exactly what we needed

David Wilson - Sep 23, 2015

Our last article had a look at what happens when a company ‘slips in’ some potentially major changes into their privacy policy. Long story short — people notice, and then everyone gets upset. Spotify retreats their previous privacy policy and the CEO writes a ‘sorry, we’ll just find another way round’ blog entry.

Given the response, you could almost swear that the privacy boffins at AVG saw this outbreak and decided that honesty is the best policy. Surely, you can’t blame an honest privacy policy?

“We collect non-personal data to make money from our free offerings so we can keep them free, including:

  • Advertising ID associated with your device
  • Browsing and search history, including meta data
  • Internet service provider or mobile network you use to connect to our products
  • Information regarding other applications you may have on your device and how they are used.”

While many news outlets jumped to clickbait headlines such as ‘AVG to sell your data’ many failed to explain that this only affected free, non-paying users, and that the function itself could be turned off. A bit rich of the media to have a go at transparency.

Perhaps the best part of all is that the privacy policy only brought to light the existing practices within AVG to sell non-personal data. Yes, they have been selling this data before, you just didn’t pick up on it in their ‘traditional’ privacy policy.

At My Privacy Policy, we applaud a company that is honest and upfront about data collection, especially when they communicate this via a short and concise privacy policy. The OAIC has always been in favour of short and extended privacy policies, which is why we provide this service for every My Privacy Policy client.

Click here to view AVG’s new privacy policy, effective October 15th 2015.


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