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Mass claim CUIC against virus scanner Avast launched

Privacy First has teamed up with Austrian NOYB (the organisation of privacy activist Max Schrems) to form the new mass claim organisation CUIC founded. CUIC stands for Consumers United in Court, also pronounceable as 'CU in Court' (see you in court). CUIC's mission is to protect consumers' privacy, mainly by conducting strategic, class action lawsuits against organisations that make a lot of money by unlawfully using personal data. To this end, CUIC takes collective action, combining the forces of consumers, aimed at compensation for damages suffered. CUIC's first case will be brought against tech company Avast, which for years unlawfully collected and resold the online surfing behaviour of millions of people. To that end, CUIC today filed the subpoena against Avast.

Millions spied on by virus scanner

CUIC today filed subpoenas against software company Avast that made virus scanners that illegally collected the browsing behaviour of millions of people on computer, tablet or phone, including in the Netherlands. This data was then resold to other companies through an Avast subsidiary for millions of euros. This included data about users' health, locations visited, political affiliation, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or economic situation. This information was linked to each specific user through unique user IDs. In a press release articulates CUIC president Wilmar Hendriks today as follows: "People thought they were safe with a virus scanner, but its very creator tracked everything they did on their computers. Avast sold this information to third parties for big money. They even advertised the goldmine of data they had captured. Companies like Avast should not be allowed to get away with this. That is why we are bringing this lawsuit. Those who won't hear should feel."


Back in March 2023, the Czech privacy regulator (UOOU) concluded that Avast violated the AVG and fined the company approximately €13.7 million. The US federal consumer authority, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), also recently ordered Avast to pay USD16.5 million in compensation to users and ordered it to stop selling or making collected data available to third parties, delete that collected data and implement a comprehensive privacy programme.

The lawsuit for which CUIC today sued Avast should lead to compensation for users in the Netherlands. Privacy First sees this as a rock-solid case that could set an important precedent, both in terms of legal protection against illegal data trading and consumer redress.

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People who had an Avast virus filter or browser extension on their computer, laptop, phone or tablet, or on those of their children, during the 2014-2020 period are urged to apply for compensation. Already 12,000 Dutch consumers who used the covertly spying software have joined the lawsuit. For each user, CUIC is demanding compensation of at least €1000. For more information and to register your claim, go to !

This article was also published at PONT Data & Privacy, see Mass claim CUIC against virus scanner Avast launched - Data&Privacyweb (