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AVG Anti-Virus Rolls Out Do Not Track

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday March 29, 2012 )

And an aspect likely to add to the wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments of some in the online advertising industry, do-not-track will be enabled by default.

Folks with AVG installed aren’t a small group – they number around 108 million active users according to the company.

“This new feature is all about putting control of online privacy in the consumer’s hands. At AVG, we help provide Internet users with peace of mind — and today, making users aware of issues with online privacy is a logical extension of our community centric platform,” says JR Smith, CEO of AVG Technologies.

While AVG recognizes web sites collecting data about users aren’t “inherently bad”, it raises the spectre of sites sharing user data with third parties.

The feature is in AVG’s 2012 product, both free and paid. On the next update a user triggers, the Service Pack will install and enable the feature. The user “will be automatically protected from sites and networks that invade their online privacy.”

AVG users can modify this default setting from within the user interface.

Where AVG leads, other companies will follow and beyond anti-virus programs, most browsers will have do not track too.

I ask: Won’t someone think of the marketers????

It’s just time to go with the flow on this front.

According to PCMag, the feature is rather unobtrusive, sitting up the top right hand side of the browser. It displays the number of items it detects on a page and the user clicks the button for more information. PC Mag says it will detect Web analytics packages like Google Analytics, but as these don’t collect personal information it leaves them alone by default.

Phew.. (but users can choose to block Google Analytics too)… it’s not like things aren’t getting sketchy enough in GA with Google’s own “not provided” keywords trend.

PCMag also reports AVG’s do-no-track treats social media buttons such as Facebook ‘like’ as it does Web analytics; it will report on their presence but doesn’t block unless the user requests it.


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