AVG responds to WP7 app criticism, accusations

AVG has taken to their blog to respond to the recent criticism of their Windows Phone 7 security suite. The app has been claimed by 3rd parties to collect and send your GPS information along with any identifying information e.g. email, device make, model, etc. Since the controversy, the app has been temporarily removed from the Marketplace by Microsoft until an investigation is complete.

AVG in their response write a lot but say very little. In short, they state their motivations for entering the WP7 ecosystem--something we don't begrudge them for, even if our security seems "tough enough". They then go on to say they worked with Microsoft on the app, including training, app feedback and suggested changes. Finally they claim that:

  • We do not share or otherwise disclose your data to anyone without your permission.
  • We do not mine your data for patterns.
  • We do not use your data to target ads.
  • We do not access your location data without your permission.

Regarding the scan engine, they have this to say:

"Having the security engines implemented in the product, we believe we can respond to security threats targeting the Windows Phone 7 platform to protect our users, whenever such threats arrive –as we have with Android — and we are committed to continuing to develop this security product to reflect the constantly changing threat landscape."

Fair enough. Honestly, at this point we don't really believe AVG was being malicious here but rather perhaps a little naive. Still, we'll wait for Microsoft to weigh in on the issue before coming to a final conclusion. Read the whole response here.


Reader comments

AVG responds to WP7 app criticism, accusations


do we even need this Application on wp7??? seems like soemthing they would release for android. with allt he malware they have...

They are just praying on people's assumptions about windows. There is no known vulnerabilities and an antivirus can't even gain the necessary access to the OS to protect you if there were.

I think that we don't even need this at this time, because the Marketplace licensing is so strict about apps.

Two points to consider:1. Due to WP7's app sandboxing AVG cannot scan (or touch in any way) any installed apps. So even if there ever will be any malware or virus for WP7, this app won't be able to do anything about it.2. AVG mines for information which is not even officially available or documented (for example Windows Live ID).

Response sounds canned as well and mad condescending. "AVG believes that the Windows Phone 7 OS will continue to increase in popularity and, as it does, it will become a high value target for thieves and hackers." High value target? Using military-speak to push their concept of security threats? What's next, homeland security advisory system with AVG color coded threat assessments? Give me a break. I can smell BS a mile away and besides, this ain't android. I noticed they did not mention OSX. Anyway, I still don't trust them. Never have and I especially won't have them killing my experience on my Windows Phone. AVG can go kick rocks.

OK, so they "worked with Microsoft on the app, including training, app feedback and suggested changes."Given how this has played out so far, I can't help but see this as "we went to a few classes or read a few books and went through the regular app submission process."

I wouldn't even install AVG on my box let alone my phone. I always think companies like these just prey on the un tech savvy.

Guys can I suggest that everyone downloads this, and then rates it. I know many people that will get fooled into waking up each morning and scanning their pictures :P - so hopefully enough bad rating will do the trick.

Can someone please expain this?"All of the data we collect is used solely to offer users an exceptional security service with state-of-the-art GPS tracking."Why the h3ll do I want antivirus software that tracks my position? Do they think we're "catching" something from proximity to other users? Will they tell me to "avoid 5th & Main because a new virus has broken out there"?I can't even guess how many years it will be before I even think about using or reccomending and AVG product.

In today's news, there's a virus going around in your downtown area, remember to wash your hands and keep your phones in your pockets, that is all.