AVAST'S PIRIFORM subsidiary has pulled the latest version of its junk file removal software CCleaner after public outcry over some dubious privacy decisions in its latest build.
As we reported last week, the latest version includes some seriously iffy telemetry collection that just doesn't sit right with a lot of people.
Piriform issued a statement on Friday, saying: "As part of our ongoing mission to improve CCleaner and deliver a better customer experience, we introduced some features in Version 5.45 aimed at providing us with more accurate data that would help us to detect bugs more quickly and let us know which CCleaner features are being used and which aren't.
"The information which is collected through these new features is aggregated, anonymous data and allows us to spot trends. This is very helpful to us for the purposes of improving our software and our customers' experience. No personally identifiable information is collected.
"In the interests of transparency, we'll also share a fact sheet outlining what data we collect, its purpose and how it is processed."
However, this wasn't enough for a lot of people who have questioned, as we did, whether most of the information that Piriform is trying to get could actually be done far less invasively.
Piriform has rolled back to v5.44 (no one can say it's not listening) for all versions.
This isn't the first such event to lose face for Piriform since it was bought by Avast.
Allegations of back-doors and malware have abounded and so this is a charm offensive coupled with a touch of damage limitation. The company was also victim to a doctored version of the app doing the rounds for several weeks last year.
From its small beginnings, as the maker of "Crap Cleaner" as it used to be called, UK firm Piriform has gone from strength to strength, not only because CCleaner is one of the few such apps not to be utter snake oil, but also because of the rest of a superb app toolkit with Defraggler and file undelete Recuva proving to be amongst the best in their respective fields.
Alas, Avast who purchased the company just over a year ago, is used to the ad-powered freemium model and seems to be adding more bad practice to its new charges than new insight.
Nevertheless, with CCleaner alone having over two billion installs under its belt, it's going to take a massive tide-turn to dethrone it altogether. That said, stranger things have happened in this crazy world we call tech.
Fun fact by the way - Piriform is a pun - it literally means ‘Pear Shaped'. μ
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