CCleaner v5.45 Introduces Data Collection with No Way to Opt-Out

Last year, security researchers uncovered that the popular PC cleaner CCleaner was backdoored. Older versions of Piriform CCleaner -v5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191- had been compromised, and as a result millions of users were affected.

New Changes in CCleaner Version 5.45 for Monitoring and Data Collection

Now, it appears that the Avast-owned software, available under Piriform, is once again criticized, this time due to software changes in the latest release, CCleaner version 5.45. In it, there is a changelog that says that more detailed reporting for bug fixes and product improvements have been added.

However, privacy experts worry that this statement only serves to cover data collection intentions. The newly added monitoring elements are called Active monitoring and heartbeat, and it appears they are sending user data to CCleaner servers. The data includes usage analytics and continuous scanning of systems in order to alert users when junk files are discovered.

Piriform claims that hearbeat only sends non-personal, non-identifiable usage information for the purpose of improving the software, adding that through collecting it they can rapidly detect bugs, identify pain points in the UI design and also understand which areas of functionality should be improved. The suspicious part is, however that it is extremely difficult to opt-out of the new feature.

Users can choose to disable the system data collection and Active Monitoring under Options. However, the features will turn themselves on again the next time the program is started. Closing the program has also been more challenging – the X-icon now only serves to minimize the program. The only way to close it is by force-closing it.

As a result of these changes, CCleaner users have expressed their discontent. Not surprisingly, the (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from How to, Technology and PC Security Forum | authored by Milena Dimitrova. Read the original post at: