A popular browser extension has been acquired by an unpopular antivirus company

Zoom / Almost every major website warns you about cookies, and it’s a shame that they share a nickname with one of life’s great pleasures.

Getty Images

Browser Extension I don’t care about cookies He does one job and does it well. It automatically removes a file Annoying but mandatory “This site uses cookies” notifications of sites. People love it, donate to it, and don’t ask for more from it, which is a rare find for free software.

“Damn, that’s **** bro it saved my 50 minutes of playing time,” one comment reads about the gadget Microsoft Edge Add-Ons . page.

The tone changed when the solo developer posted”great newsOn the website of the extension. Avast, a giant in the field of cybersecurity Just completed an $8.1 billion merger with NortonLifeLockYou will get a 10-year-old program at an undisclosed price.

Developer Daniel Kladnik recently wrote: “I am proud and happy to say that Avast…a renowned and trustworthy IT company known for its wide range of products that help secure our digital experience, has recognized their value!” Kladnik wrote that he would continue to work on the extension, and that it would remain free, and asked for donations to stop.

Commenters on Facebook, Twitter, and the various installation pages of the extension did not agree with Kladnik’s characterization of Avast. One Facebook commenter wrote: “Congratulations on killing the extension! Avast is a cancer on the planet.” Another wrote, “The cure is now worse than the disease.” “It’s sad to see a great popup blocker extension being acquired by a well-known popup building company,” said one of the people on the Chrome extension page.

There’s always a certain amount of quick “uninstall” reaction to software acquisitions, but the extension dealing with Avast’s cookie policy raises a few questions. (We have reached out to both Kladnik and Avast and will update the post with new information.)

Out of public domain and recently incorporated Norton/Avast entity domain (cleared Just four days ago), and long before that, Avast had made news of its history in data management.

Avast Close the data brokerage process Jumpshot in 2020 after a joint investigation by Vice and PCMag revealed it Its antivirus has been selling browsing data to some of the world’s largest companies, including Home Depot, Google, and Microsoft (and disclosure, parent company Ars Technica Condé Nast). The data included Google searches, GPS coordinates on Google Maps, and searches on various sites, including YouTube and PornHub. Jumpshot described itself as “the only company that has opened Walled Gardens data”, and in a file Tweet now deletedpromoted his ability to collect “every search. Every click. Every purchase. On every site.”

In 2019, the creator of AdBlock Plus Dig into Avast’s Online Security Browser Extension (And a similar one from AVG, acquired by Avast.) The extension was sending extensive details about the pages visited, activity on those pages, and other data that made anonymizing people fairly easy. Google shortly after Remove Avast and AVG Extensions from Chrome Web Store.

In its main job providing security, Avast had one notable bug in distributing a smaller software application that it got. CCleaner, a tool to completely remove all parts of Windows software, was Distributed by Avast while containing malware. The malware, which allowed remote access and control of a seemingly legitimate signing certificate, was introduced by an attacker into CCleaner’s update servers through another company acquired by Avast.

Avast, a Czech-based company operating since 1988, has also contributed to high-profile security research and discoveries for more than three decades. In recent years, Avast Found 28 Browser Extensions Infected With Malware (in 2020)exposed Back door inside a federal agency (in 2021), raised alarms about One of the Chrome vulnerabilities that are being used to target journalists and other specific goals.

The “I don’t care about cookies” alternatives mentioned by sites and users include Approval-O-Matic And a number of other extensions that don’t have anywhere close to the same ten-year history or Kladnik extension review backlog. You can of course continue to use the extension and keep a close eye on updates.