It’s a sad condition when the company that you trust to protect your privacy is the very one violating it. The trending news in the security world this week involves accusations leveled at Hotspot Shield, a widely used VPN provider.
These claims allege that Hotspot Shield was engaging in deceptive business practices, and the Federal Trade Commission is moving to investigate.
Just last year in an interview with ZDNet, Hotspot higher up David Gorodynasky claimed that, although many subscribers use the ad-supported version of the software, the company doesn’t collect or store data from these users, preferring a “zero knowledge” approach.
Hotspot Shield is accused of spying on its users for its own gain.
The Center for Democracy & Technology based out of Washington DC is telling a different story, however. They claim Hotspot Shield has been redirecting user browsing activity to targeted advertisers that they partner with.
In essence, while they told their users that they would be able to browse anonymously, they instead allegedly tracked their behavior and attempted to pair them up with advertisers for profit.
In short, Hotspot Shield is accused of spying on its users for its own gain.
This information was uncovered in partnership with researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, which reverse engineered source code. They found that the VPN “uses more than five different third-party tracking libraries, contradicting statements that Hotspot Shield ensures anonymous and private web browsing.”
Claims allege that Hotspot Shield was engaging in deceptive business practices
Basically you get what you pay for.
We noticed IPVanish is having something of a chuckle at HotSpot Shield getting caught doing allegedly shady dealings, as they’ve introduced a new promo code for the next week that gets you 25% of the entire billing cycle of any of their plans. So if you grab the year plan, for instance, you only wind up paying $4.89 per month. Just use the coupon code HOTSEAT. (This will be automatically applied if you use the button below).
Whether you go with our favorite VPN or another one, always be sure to read the fine print carefully. Make sure you’re getting a real Virtual Private Network and not a Virtual Spy Network.
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