AVG releases new 'whimsical' privacy policy

AVG has thrown down the gauntlet to other technology companies, challenging the rest of the industry to produce open, truthful privacy policies. AVG has done just that, and you might not like what you read.

The antivirus company has published its own brutally honest privacy policy that clearly sets out how it tracks users' activity, gathers data, and shares that information with others. Unsurprisingly, despite the fact that nothing has changed but merely been brought out in to the open, people are not happy. Is honesty about a disagreeable policy better than living in blissful ignorance?

The new privacy policy is due to take effect on 15 October and it quite plainly states that user data is collected "to make money." What is collected? Names, email address, phone numbers, SIM numbers, IP addresses, location, device IDs, payment details... the list goes on and on. It goes on and gets a little sinister. AVG will also collect your "browsing and search history, including meta data", and "information regarding other applications you may have on your device and how they are used".

In terms of content, the policy is little different to its predecessor; it is really just the presentation and tone that has changed. But in bringing its privacy policy out into the open - and writing it in far more accessible language - AVG has opened itself up to attack and criticism. And that's exactly what has happened. Over on Reddit (that home of the ever calm and collected individual) there is much shaking of fist and gnashing of teeth. There are numerous threats of dumping AVG in favour of other antivirus tools.

How much of an issue is this level of tracking and data collection? AVG offers up one softener: it's all done "so that we can continue to offer them for free". Should AVG be more concerned about ensuring that its users (or ex-users) understand its privacy policies, or should it concentrate more on ensuring that there is less for people to complain about in the first place? As with Windows 10, the real price of AVG is privacy.

But just to make you feel better about everything, AVG has also released a video about its privacy policy which it describes as 'whimsical'. Enjoy:

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