Avast yanks the latest version of CCleaner following anger over privacy changes

Avast has pulled the latest version of PC optimization software CCleaner due to complaints about the way it handles users' data.

Avast releases monthly updates for CCleaner, but version 5.45 of the free tool made it impossible to prevent anonymous usage reports being sent back to the company. Although the option still seemed to be present, it turned itself back on whenever the program was restarted.

The update also made it much more difficult to close CCleaner. Rather than stopping completely when users closed the window, the program remained running in the background and could only be terminated using the Task Manager.

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After protests from its users, Avast pledged to reverse some of these changes, but it has now capitulated and rolled back to version 5.44 instead.

"Thank you all for your continued feedback (positive and negative, it all helps)," said a company spokesperson on the software's forums.

"I wanted to give a quick progress update on what we're doing. We’re currently working on separating out cleaning functionality from analytics reporting and offering more user control options which will be remembered when CCleaner is closed. We’re also creating a factsheet to share which will outline the data we collect, for which purposes and how it is processed.

"Today we have removed v5.45 and reverted to v5.44 as the main download for CCleaner while we work on a new version with several key improvements."

It's not the first time CCleaner has run into trouble since its acquisition by security software giant Avast last year. In September, the optimization software was struck by a nasty malware infection that connected to a remote server, allowing third parties to run code on a compromised PC.

Via IT Pro

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