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It was discovered that in the newest version of CCleaner 5.45, the privacy settings had been removed from the free version. Even worse, the active monitoring feature, which can be disabled by users, turned itself back on whenever the program was shut down or the computer rebooted.
Avast said in a changelog that it "added more detailed reporting for bug fixes and product improvements." The company added that its heartbeat feature, which sends usage statistics to Avast every 12 hours, contained “non-personal, absolutely non-identifiable usage information for the purpose of improving CCleaner.”
Additionally, it was found that clicking the X icon in the corner of CCleaner minimized the software rather than closing it, keeping it running in the background—something people have compared to spyware tactics.
Piriform has now reverted to version 5.44 of CCleaner as the latest update, which you can download here. The company said it is working on changes in version 5.45 to address users’ concerns, but these will take weeks rather than days to implement.
Since the acquisition by Avast, once loyal users have complained of bundled software and popup ads appearing in CCleaner, and this is yet another piece of bad publicity for the popular tool.