Security Market Segment LS
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 13:11

Kaspersky says Harvey Norman ban its own business

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Security vendor Kaspersky Lab has reacted to reports that Australian retailer Harvey Norman will no longer be selling its products by saying it respects the decision of any business to sell and market products as it sees fit.

Tech website Channel News reported on Monday that Harvey Norman had pulled the plug on Kaspersky software, quoting "an email sent to Channel News".

While one would tend to associate such a decision with recent bans in the US, buried deep in the story was this line: "It appears that Harvey Norman made the decision to cut ties with Kaspersky 15 months ago over security concerns."

On 13 September, the US Department of Homeland Security told all US government agencies to stop using Kaspersky products, with a deadline of 90 days to implement plans to discontinue the use and to remove software from information systems.

The ban on Kaspersky is the culmination of a steady stream of actions that began in the wake of claims that Russia had interfered in the 2016 US presidential poll.

A spokesman from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet told iTWire last week that the Australian Government was not making any recommendation on the use or otherwise of products from Kaspersky Lab.

In a statement to iTWire today, Kaspersky Lab said it would "continue to offer its industry-leading cyber security solutions to consumers across Australia through its website and other retailers".

But it took issue with the Channel News report, saying that "media coverage of the alleged decision by Harvey Norman includes a number of errors that need to be corrected".

"First and foremost, Kaspersky Lab does not, under any circumstances, share customer data with advertisers, and has never done so.

"The user information processed by the company is limited to that needed to improve detection algorithms, refine the products’ operation and offer better solutions to our customers. 

"Further details of exactly what data is processed and how users benefit from sharing it, can be found in the product user agreements and on our website."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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