UK cybersecurity company Avast has announced the closure of Jumpshot —the analytics business caught up in a data privacy scandal. The move is expected to put hundreds of jobs at risk, as well as a further drop in its share price, accordsing to news agency, Reuters.
It is alleged that Avast collected data on its users’ online activities and sent it to Jumpshot, which proceeded to offer to sell the information to clients.
Last week, the firm said it had begun a review of the Jumpshot business —a day after stating in a blog post that “at no time have we sold any personally identifiable information to a third party”.
Jumpshot, which Avast started in 2015, analyses consumers’ online habits by measuring their search, click and buy patterns across thousands of categories from over 150 websites, including Amazon, Google, Netflix, and Walmart, its website.
Clients of Jumpshot include cosmetics maker Revlon, hotel search website Tripadvisor and chipmaker Intel. Jumpshot and Avast have acted “fully within legal bounds”, Avast Chief Executive Officer Ondrej Vlcek said in a blog post https://blog.avast.com/a-message-from-ceo-ondrej-vlcek, adding both companies were committed to full compliance with GDPR, Europe’s rules on data protection.
Scrutiny of data-handling has risen as consumers become more aware of how their online activity is used by businesses and authorities scurry to strengthen regulations.
Protecting people is Avast’s top priority and must be embedded in everything we do in our business and in our products. Anything to the contrary is unacceptable,
Avast’s decision to close Jumpshot was taken because the business does not fit into Avast’s priorities for 2020 and beyond, he said, adding it would affect “hundreds” of employees.
The company said it had cut Jumpshot’s access to its data with immediate effect as it winds down the operation. It gave no details on its plans for Jumpshot’s management and employees, nor which jobs would be cut.