Jumpshot – a GDPR casualty?

Following a data privacy scandal, British cybersecurity company Avast, will close its analytics subsidiary, Jumpshot.

In a Reuters report, Avast began a review last Wednesday after reports it had collected user data and provided it to Jumpshot — which analyses online habits — and then offered to sell the information to clients.

The move to pull the plug on Jumpshot would affect hundreds of employees. San Francisco-headquartered Jumpshot has five global offices and is led by a team of six that is headed by Deren Baker.

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 shows.

Clients of Jumpshot include cosmetics maker Revlon, hotel search website Tripadvisor and chipmaker Intel.

“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,” said CEO Ondrej Vlcek, adding the Jumpshot business does not fit into the company’s priorities for 2020 and beyond.

Avast had also added in a blog post that, “…at no time have we sold any personally identifiable information to a third party.”

This move comes at a time when there is growing consumer awareness of how their data is being handled by businesses.

Consumers are becoming more discerning of how data of their online activity is being used.

In Europe specifically, its data protection regulation, or GDPR, has already fined a number of companies for not complying to how data of its EU citizens are required to be handled and protected.

The costs of winding down the analytics subsidiary, Jumpshot, is estimated to be at least USD15 million in 2020.

The final cost amount, is yet to be tallied and verified.