Trend Micro is an anti-malware and security company who has several security products across platforms. BBC News is reporting that Apple has removed several Trend Micro products from its Mac store alleging the company was harvesting user data. Apple claims they found these apps exporting users browsing history and sending to servers in China. The software security company denies these allegations and made their own statement in a blog post.
Reports that Trend Micro is “stealing user data” and sending them to an unidentified server in China are absolutely false.
Trend Micro has completed an initial investigation of a privacy concern related to some of its MacOS consumer products. The results confirm that
DrCleaner, DrCleaner Pro, Dr. Antivirus, Dr. Unarchiver, Dr. Battery, and Duplicate Finder collected and uploaded a small snapshot of the browser history on a one-time basis, covering the 24 hours prior to installation. This was a one-time data collection, done for security purposes (to analyze whether a user had recently encountered adware or other threats, and thus to improve the product & service). The potential collection and use of browser history data wasexplicitly disclosed in the applicable EULAsand data collection disclosures accepted by users for each product at installation (see, for example, the DrCleaner data collection disclosure here: https://esupport.trendmicro.com/en-us/home/pages/technical-support/1119854.aspx). The browser history data was uploaded to a U.S.-based server hosted by AWS and managed/controlled by Trend Micro.
Trend Micro is taking customer concerns seriously and has decided to remove this browser history collection capability from the products at issue.
The company says it has updated the apps and they have deleted the logs from those apps including users browsing history. No comment from Apple has been given thus far.