Mozilla removes all Avast Firefox extensions

If you seek for Avast or AVG on the official Mozilla Add-ons web site, you might discover that no outcomes by these corporations are returned. Neither Avast Online Security or SafePrice, nor AVG Online Security or SafePrice, are returned by the Store at the moment regardless that these extensions exist.

It seems that Mozilla eliminated these extensions from its Store. When you attempt to open one of many Store URLs of Avast or AVG extensions you get a “Oops! We cannot discover that web page” error message.

avast avg firefox add-ons removed

The extensions will not be blacklisted by Mozilla. Blacklisted extensions are placed on a blocklist — which is publicly available here — and faraway from consumer browsers as a consequence.

Avast and AVG extensions have been eliminated however will not be blocked which implies that the extensions stay put in in Firefox browsers in the interim.

Mozilla added a number of dozen extensions for Firefox to the blocklist on December 2, 2019 which collected consumer knowledge with out disclosure or consent, however Avast’s extensions will not be on the listing.

What occurred?

Wladimir Palant, creator of AdBlock Plus, published an evaluation of Avast extensions in late October 2018 on his private website. He found that Avast’s extension transmitted knowledge to Avast that offered Avast with looking historical past data.  The knowledge that the extension submits exceeded what is critical to operate based on Palant.

The extensions embody the complete tackle of the web page, the web page title, referer, and different knowledge within the request. Data is submitted when pages are opened but in addition when tabs are switched. On search pages, each single hyperlink on the web page is submitted as nicely.

The knowledge collected right here goes far past merely exposing the websites that you simply go to and your search historical past. Tracking tab and window identifiers in addition to your actions permits Avast to create a virtually exact reconstruction of your looking habits: what number of tabs do you’ve open, what web sites do you go to and when, how a lot time do you spend studying/watching the contents, what do you click on there and when do you turn to a different tab. All that’s related to quite a few attributes permitting Avast to acknowledge you reliably, even a novel consumer identifier.

Palant concluded that the gathering of knowledge was not an oversight. The firm states in its privateness coverage that it makes use of anonymized Clickstream Data for “cross-product direct advertising, cross-product growth, and third-party trend analytics.

Mozilla is in talks with Avast at the moment according to Wladimir Palant. Possible eventualities are that Mozilla will add the extensions to the blocklist that it maintains or will request that Avast makes adjustments to the extensions earlier than they’re reinstated.

The extensions are nonetheless obtainable for Google Chrome on the time of writing.

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