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The free virtual private networking service (VPN) Hotspot Shield is being accused by the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) of violating its own privacy policies and engaging in “unfair and deceptive trade practices”.
CDT, a nonprofit advocacy group for consumer privacy rights, has stated that Hotspot Shield was violating its “anonymous browsing” promise by intercepting and redirecting web traffic to partner websites, including advertising companies.
In a 14-page filing, the group has requested that the Federal Trade Commission investigate Hotspot for engaging in such practices.
“Hotspot Shield also monitors information about users’ browsing habits while the VPN is in use,” CDT claimed in its filing.
One of the primary reasons users use VPN services is to protect their identity from host governments and shield their browsing habits from internet service providers.
As noted in the filing, Hotspot Shield CEO David Gorodyansky previously stated in an interview that the company’s policy was to “never log or store user data.”
Hotspot Shield has not officially responded to the allegations, however, Gorodyansky has come out to say that CDT’s allegations are “unfounded,” and that Hotspot “protects user personally identifiable information from both third parties and from ourselves.”
This article originally appeared on ZDNet.
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Source : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1477359/vpn-provider-hotspot-shield-accused-violating-user-privacy/