Avast responds to CCleaner controversy

Nothing to see here, move along

Yesterday I wrote about why people might want to skip the latest version of popular system cleaning tool CCleaner. This isn’t the first time that I, and other long-time users, have expressed dissatisfaction in how the program is evolving under Avast.

Following yesterday’s piece, the Avast-owned Piriform -- CCleaner’s maker -- contacted me to clarify the situation. This is what the company had to say.

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 only 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.

We value the feedback from our users and are currently working on our next version of CCleaner which will separate out cleaning functionality from analytics reporting, and offer more user control options which will be remembered when CCleaner is closed.

In the interests of transparency, we’ll also share a fact sheet outlining what data we collect, its purpose and how it is processed. We’re also taking the opportunity to redesign the data settings within CCleaner so they are communicated in a clear and easy to understand way. Building and testing software sometimes takes a little time to get right, but we are working hard to release our next version as soon as possible.

It’s good that the company is aware of the situation and is taking steps to respond to customer complaints. It's similar to the negativity Microsoft received when it first released Windows 10 (albeit on a much, much smaller scale), and those concerns were also addressed over time.

The problem that Avast faces here is CCleaner is a much loved system cleaning tool and jamming in adverts, hard to disable monitoring, bundled programs and the like really doesn’t sit well with its users. We love CCleaner because it does an important job fantastically well, and no one wants to see that change.

Does Piriform’s response put your mind at rest?

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