Latest CCleaner Update Pulled After Forced Opt-In Raises Privacy Concerns

Latest CCleaner Update Pulled After Forced Opt-In Raises Privacy Concerns
Image: Avast

How does that Dark Knight Rises quote go again? “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain”? Turns out, this applies to software as much as it does to superheroes. CCleaner, once the premiere tool against crap-installing programs, is becoming the very thing it was designed to fight.

WARNING: Avast's CCleaner Corrupted With Malware

According to its parent company Avast, more than 130 million people use the performance optimisation software CCleaner. And today all of those people need to be sure they have installed the latest update because some nasty malware has managed to make it into one of the builds.

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Piriform, the original developer behind CCleaner, was acquired by antivirus outfit Avast not long ago. Shortly afterwards, malware found its way into a public build of the program.

You’d think, given this catastrophe, Avast would be a bit more careful with its updates.

Apparently not. Bowing to online pressure, the company has pulled the latest version of CCleaner, 5.45, after it was discovered the ability to opt-out of program’s data gathering was removed.

That’s not the worst of it. According to Hacker News’ Swati Khandelwal, 5.45 would force Active Monitoring on, even if disabled by the user.

If you visit the website now, you’ll find 5.44 as the most recent download, which omits the aforementioned changes.

Understandably, if you’re sick of CCleaner’s shenanigans, take a look at Wise Disk Cleaner. It’s not as user-friendly, but it does offer a lot more options to free up space.

CCleaner Adds Data Collection Feature With No Way to Opt-Out [The Hacker News]


    • I dumped Avast awhile ago when they stopped giving users flexibility in controlling their AV. To be honest I have the same problem with a lot of the big (popular) AV products now – AVG, Avira etc. It’s hard to find a simple, straight forward AV that isn’t intrusive and wants to install 10 different products.

      I haven’t had CCleaner on my PC in ages either. But it is on my phone, largely because it was a bundled app. I wonder whether the android version is as bad?

      • I have been using kaspersky for ages. Works like a treat. Its not intrusive at all and it does not bombard me with messages telling me to upgrade or buy other products.

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