Mozilla removed AVAST firefox extensions

Extensions developed by Avast, as well as their AVG-branded versions, have been removed by Mozilla and can no longer be found in the Firefox add-on store, albeit, for the time being, it looks like a full ban is yet to be instated.

Mozilla’s links to Avast Online Security and Avast SafePrice, as well as their versions wearing AVG’s badge, have been removed from the Firefox browser add-on store and can no longer be installed by users.

But as per GHacks, this isn’t a full ban, as an extension that is blacklisted by Mozilla is also removed from the existing Firefox installations. At this point, these extensions are still running on devices where they’ve been installed previously. Browsing data collection

While both Mozilla and Avast/AVG have remained completely tight-lipped on the extension removal from the add-on store, it’s believed this decision is related to recent information revealed by Wladimir Palant, the creator of AdBlock Plus, one of the most popular ad blockers for Firefox and Google Chrome.

In his thorough analysis of Avast’s extensions, Palast explains that they collect browsing history information that includes visited sites, search history, and even tab and window identifiers. Palast says this helps Avast “create a nearly precise reconstruction of your browsing behaviour,” as the company can then generate a bunch of statistics, like the number of active tabs, visited websites, time spent on each page, and clicks.

Without an official statement, it’s believed that Mozilla took the extensions down in order to give Avast and AVG more time to comply with its privacy policy and update the add-ons to address the data collection.

The developer says Mozilla is still talking with Avast over its extensions, so there’s a good chance that the links will go back online in the coming days after the said concerns are resolved.

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