AVG has responded to the vast criticism of its recently released antivirus application for Windows Phone 7.
Microsoft took the unusual step on Friday of pulling a Windows Phone 7 application from its Marketplace. AVG’s antivirus scanner for Windows Phone 7 was removed after a number of criticisms from Windows Phone users. The application, made available earlier this week, has been found to improperly use the Geo Location (GeoCoordinateWatcher) API to track a device and send a number of key identifying data to AVGs servers. AVG appears to collect the phone make, model, a users email address and their location.
AVG responded to the claims on Friday in a company blog post. Chief technology officer for AVG, Yuval Ben-Itzhak explained that the company “worked closely with Microsoft on the development of this product.” Addressing concerns about the amount of data transmitted by the app, Ben-Itzhak claims it’s for the good of the end user. “All of the data we collect is used solely to offer users an exceptional security service with state-of-the-art GPS tracking,” he said. AVG promises the following:
- We will not sell your data to anyone.
- 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.
Ben-Itzhak also reveals that AVG’s team were trained by Microsoft. AVG implemented some changes recommended by Microsoft according to Ben-Itzhak. Explaining the reasoning behind an antivirus application for a platform with no known threats, AVG says it believes Windows Phone 7 will become a target soon. “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,” says Ben-Itzhak. Microsoft is currently investigating the application.