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AVG Delivers Shopping Privacy for the Holiday Season

AVG Delivers Shopping Privacy for the Holiday Season with New Wi-Fi Do Not Track feature for Smartphone Users

New feature in AVG PrivacyFix™ for Android™ offers enhanced privacy options to protect against unwanted Wi-Fi surveillance

Auckland, 11 December 2013AVG Technologies today announced the release of a new Wi-Fi® Do Not Track (DNT) feature available in its free flagship AVG PrivacyFixTM for AndroidTM application, aimed at giving consumers the choice to block tracking of their location enabled by Wi-Fi networks in retail stores and other public venues. By using AVG PrivacyFix to choose the adjustments they wish to make on their smartphone settings, shoppers can now trust that their retail experience will be more private than ever before.

The new Wi-Fi DNT feature within AVG 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, optimise store layouts or measure the effectiveness of mobile advertising.

Michael McKinnon, Security Advisor at AVG Technologies AU, said: “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 realise they are even being observed in this way. 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.”

Jim Brock, VP Privacy Products, AVG Technologies, said: “The commercialisation 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. AVG PrivacyFix offers individuals the choice and control over their privacy that the industry has yet to provide. Until we see broadly accepted and protective industry standards in place to regulate smartphone tracking in the real-world, consumers need to fend for themselves. We're here to make that easier.”

AVG PrivacyFix featuring the new Wi-Fi DNT feature has been developed as an additional element to the existing AVG PrivacyFix application, which allows people to manage their privacy settings across popular online sites, such as Facebook and Google+ and is available now to download for Android smartphones here.

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