Avira says mobile ad networks are becoming ‘increasingly aggressive,’ launches own network

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Security software company Avira has rolled out its own security-focused mobile ad network and has criticised other mobile ad networks of failing to protect user privacy.

Although it doesn’t name names, Avira says “certain mobile ad networks” are becoming “increasingly aggressive when it comes to harvesting user data.” The company adds that it’s now taking “leadership to protect users from compromised ad networks.”

Avira’s new offering is created in partnership with AOL Adtech, which is interesting, given that AOL was recently named as one of 30 data and marketing companies thought to be in violation of EU standards on handling personal information of European citizens. According to the press release, Avira’s network displays ads in a way that “respects user privacy” and “ensures the highest standards when it comes to user data transfer and security.”

Leon Crutchley, director of Avira’s R&D, said:

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“2014 was the year we really saw the landscape change with regard to adware on mobile. Both on Android and iOS we have seen ad networks become increasingly aggressive with the way they collect data. We wanted to put the power back into the hands of the users to control how their data is used.”

Avira says advertisers can expect CPIs of around $1 for app install ads and the first one thousand installs are free for new sign-ups. The ad network is currently running on Avira’s iOS security app, but it’s not clear if Android will also be supported. More information can be found here (PDF link).