AVG, best known for its security software applications, has added WiFi Do Not Track (DNT) to is Android PirvacyFix app. This will kill all those comments about "Minority Report" and we are happy about anything that will stop people trying to sell us crap we don't want based on erroneous information that they've gotten through nefarious means. Suck it, retailers!
AVG claims to have about 172 million active users, and let's hope they have more after today's announcement about AVG PrivacyFix. With a new WiFi DNT feature, you can choose the adjustments you wish to make to your smartphone settings so that your shopping experience remains private. This will, no doubt, mean that retailers will not be able to see you lingering in the ladies' lingerie department by the granny panties. Don't you just hate that man or woman of indeterminate predilections and style choices?
We are a sexism free blog, people.
The new Wi-Fi DNT feature of PrivacyFix for Android enables users to have the Wi-Fi on their smartphones automatically suspended when they are out and about, only reconnecting in the vicinity of pre-set trusted Wi-Fi locations, such as their home, office or regular coffee shop, for example. This prevents the device from transmitting a unique code (MAC address) which retailers and marketers have begun using to track the movement of shoppers based on physical location. Retailers are using this information to count visitors, optimize store layouts or measure the effectiveness of mobile advertising.
"Using Wi-Fi technology to capture our location data in stores provides retailers with analytics. The problem is that consumers have limited notice of these activities, often no opportunity to opt-out, and many may not realize they are even being observed in this way," said Gary Kovacs, Chief Executive Officer, AVG Technologies. "My view is that trust is at the heart of all successful transactions. Take that away, and you devalue technology's significant potential. AVG was the first security company to provide active Do Not Track in our desktop products and, with consumers increasingly using mobile devices to get online, we have maintained our leadership by extending this choice to the physical world."
"The commercialization of Wi-Fi tracking of shoppers appears to be on the rise with companies offering such services to retailers. Yet often these services lack any opt-out mechanism for consumers and fail to provide assurance of basic encryption protection of your device identifier.
Of course, this also means that you are going to have to work to build a trusted network of WiFi sources, which is probably the biggest impediment to citizens taking back control of their lives. Admit it, you are lazy, and will take any WiFi, anywhere, as long as it is free. Well, stop. If someone gave you a lifetime's free supply of Twinkies would you eat your way through them?
AVG PrivacyFix is available for PC, mobile and tablet. In addition to sticking it to the man, as long as the man is a snoopy retailer, it allows people to check, manage and personalize their privacy settings across sites such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and across websites in general, all from one easy-to-use central control panel.
Key features include:
- A personal privacy dashboard, available when you want it, on your phone, tablet, and computer.
- The ability to keep your privacy up to date, as AVG PrivacyFix lets you know when settings change or new settings need review.
- A warning feature that alerts you before you give your Facebook data to Facebook apps that don't provide privacy assurances.
- Keeping loved ones private by showing you when their Facebook profiles may be exposed.
- Information that helps you understand who's collecting data about you and what your data may be worth to Facebook and Google.
Amen to that. Anything that keeps people out of me.