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Aethernaut

More Tracking and Data Gathering?

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I noticed that when CCleaner was running (monitoring was supposedly switched off and I'd supposedly opted out of everything else) my machine constantly contacted:

ip-info.ff.avast.com
shepherd.sb.avast.com
analytics.ff.avast.com

There appears to be nothing at ip-info.ff.avast.com but a search for the URL found a reference to http://ip-info.ff.avast.com/v1/info in an Avast support forum. This does work and going to the address displays accurate data under each of the below headings:

ip address - continent - continentCode - country - countryName - City - timezone - latitude - longitude - isp* - asnNumber* - asnOrganization* - organization* - postalCode

Headings marked * relate to my ISP, the rest are personal (including lattitude, longitude and postcode).

I have not determined what data the other URLs are after, however I notice that analytics.ff.avast.com is included in tracking blocklists.

Now uninstalled and the whole avast.com domain is blocked outgoing until I am happy it has actually gone.

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If you had opted out of everything, it really doesn't help Piriform's credibility at all to collect this info despite you asking them not to.

Let's see what reply they give.

 

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7 hours ago, Aethernaut said:

I noticed that when CCleaner was running (monitoring was supposedly switched off and I'd supposedly opted out of everything else) my machine constantly contacted:

ip-info.ff.avast.com
shepherd.sb.avast.com
analytics.ff.avast.com

There appears to be nothing at ip-info.ff.avast.com but a search for the URL found a reference to http://ip-info.ff.avast.com/v1/info in an Avast support forum. This does work and going to the address displays accurate data under each of the below headings:

ip address - continent - continentCode - country - countryName - City - timezone - latitude - longitude - isp* - asnNumber* - asnOrganization* - organization* - postalCode

Headings marked * relate to my ISP, the rest are personal (including lattitude, longitude and postcode).

I have not determined what data the other URLs are after, however I notice that analytics.ff.avast.com is included in tracking blocklists.

Now uninstalled and the whole avast.com domain is blocked outgoing until I am happy it has actually gone.

Hi Aethernaut,

When you use CCleaner it is necessary for some data, such as the operating system you’re on, whether you’re using a free or paid version of CCleaner, and the language you’re using, to be reported. This data allows us to safely maintain CCleaner and make sure that it works well for everyone. Reporting of anonymous usage data is optional and an opt-out is provided in the application. You can read more about this here: https://www.ccleaner.com/about/data-factsheet

Regarding the IP lookup, this service is used for two things. The first is to protect against abuse or denial of service attacks on our network. If one or more IP addresses are being used in a coordinated attack to bombard our servers with requests, we can take immediate steps to block this malevolent traffic and maintain a smooth-running and secure service. IP data is stored temporarily for the primary business purpose and is routinely deleted when no longer needed for that purpose, as per GDPR legislation.

The second is to determine the continent and country, which is used for efficient provision of online services to a global userbase (e.g. ensuring we can effectively serve product updates to our users around the world) and to to know who we are building our product for. For example, if we detected a security vulnerability in our software, we need to be able to provision an emergency security update effectively to all users simultaneously. If we didn't know which countries our users were in, we wouldn't know where to locate our update servers to ensure they don't become overloaded in such an event. As a second example, if we suddenly see our user numbers jump in Israel or the Middle East, we might add functionality to allow the application to have a Right-to-Left layout as well as Left-to-Right, so people reading in Hebrew or Arabic have a more positive experience.

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26 minutes ago, Stephen Piriform said:

When you use CCleaner it is necessary for some data, such as the operating system you’re on, whether you’re using a free or paid version of CCleaner, and the language you’re using, to be reported.

Necessary?

So how does CC still function when it is blocked at the firewall or runs on a PC not connected to the internet? :ph34r:

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Smells like B.S. in my opinion - wasn't going to reply in here but oh well. Just more crap for me to block which may reverse my decision of using the newest version altogether.

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Quote

As a second example, if we suddenly see our user numbers jump in Israel or the Middle East, we might add functionality to allow the application to have a Right-to-Left layout as well as Left-to-Right, so people reading in Hebrew or Arabic have a more positive experience.

..and that's the reason you are giving as to why people who have opted out are still being tracked??

Really this has got to stop. Piriform/Avast are using users as info collecting machines.

CCleaner is supposed to be a junk cleaner.. it's now turning into something sinister.

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33 minutes ago, hazelnut said:

..and that's the reason you are giving as to why people who have opted out are still being tracked??

Really this has got to stop. Piriform/Avast are using users as info collecting machines.

CCleaner is supposed to be a junk cleaner.. it's now turning into something sinister.

+1

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+1

'Necessary' for the user or 'useful' for your marketing department?

Personally I'm not impressed by your "protect against abuse or denial of service attacks" justification.
Many servers have protection that does not rely on collecting IP's.
Blocking IP's to stop a DoS is a pretty ineffective (crude) way of doing it, and doesn't work against a modern DDoS anyway.

"IP data is stored temporarily for the primary business purpose"  - presumably marketing/selling product is "the primary business purpose"

The rest of the 'justification' is simply an acknowledgement that you are collecting information for marketing purposes.

PS.
If a user is now 'selected' for the new 'Feature Preview' - without any choice in the matter (at the moment) - that would be another excuse for collecting data along with monitoring the preview.

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Stephen Piriform,

I was going to respond to each of your points but realised that I would effectively just be agreeing with Andavari above.

I will say however that despite reading the post several times, I still cannot see how CCleaner phoning home for an IP lookup every 30 or so seconds to give you my ISP and location info can in any way help prevent DDoS atacks aimed at your network.

Anyway, what you say may be perfectly true but I just don't believe anything that comes out of Piriform / Avast any more. I suppose that as I no longer trust CCleaner / Piriform / Avast the only thing I can do is uninstall the product from my machines and mobile devices and move on.

This I have done.

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4 hours ago, Aethernaut said:

Stephen Piriform,

I was going to respond to each of your points but realised that I would effectively just be agreeing with Andavari above.

I will say however that despite reading the post several times, I still cannot see how CCleaner phoning home for an IP lookup every 30 or so seconds to give you my ISP and location info can in any way help prevent DDoS atacks aimed at your network.

Anyway, what you say may be perfectly true but I just don't believe anything that comes out of Piriform / Avast any more. I suppose that as I no longer trust CCleaner / Piriform / Avast the only thing I can do is uninstall the product from my machines and mobile devices and move on.

This I have done.

I was going to start a thread similar to this one but decided I'm just going to agree with @Aethernaut and the other comments above.

Since Avast took over, I've lived with borked builds, impossible to delete ad cookies, invasive ads, data mining, etc.  The 'summer sales' ad was bad enough.  The one going around now shows up every time I turn on my computer or restart.  It even comes up occasionally while I'm actually doing some work on my computer.  I know how to block internet access but I'm not going to jump through hoops to make a product work and this is something no one should have to do.

Still, I stuck in there with CCleaner and even filed a bug thread when it didn't work properly with the paused Windows 10 1809.

I used to love CCleaner but it has turned into crap -- it should delete itself.  I'm sorry I feel this way but the info collecting is out of hand and out of control.  No more.  I'm done.  CCleaner is off my system and I'm moving on.  I will check in every so often to the forums but I'm done with it.  Should CCleaner ever return to the excellent tool it used to be, I might come back.

Good luck to all.

 

 

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On 10/29/2018 at 21:08, crizal said:

I used to love CCleaner but it has turned into crap -- it should delete itself.

I'll make an exception to my self imposed unwillingness to be involved with the current Piriform/Avast iteration of a once great product to say "well said"!

And don't apologise, the apologies should be coming your way and the way of the ever dwindling user base.

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OK, maybe a little bit different spin here. From the least tekkie member here.  :lol: 

I am very glad that Avast still provides an AV that works with XP.  As mentioned before, a layered security system still provides adequate security for me, but maybe not for everyone.  In other words redundant safety fallbacks. First warning comes from Avast, last line of defense is the system virtualization software. If that all fails there are backup images.

Some data collection is necessary,  I guess. I would never agree to guard the treasure without knowing a bit about where it is and who has the keys. And for sure it should be revealed up front what is being collected. 

For the big scary monsters, meltdown, specter, TPM compromise, etc, nothing seems to work very well anyway, afaik.  Would like to be corrected if that has changed.  ? 

The situation with CCleaner is different. The behaviors described here don't seem necessary, CCleaner doesn't depend on them for self protection. Not smart enough to know that for sure, though.  As stated before it just seems they are used to increase the market base.  Could be wrong, sorry if so. 

So maybe it's a question of balance.  I'm glad Avast still works for xp, old versions of CCleaner still work here also. So far the benefits outweigh the costs. 

Thanks. 


 

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Things change. 

Recently  when I went to a banking site, Avast popped a warning that said "It's easy to see what you do online.  Keep your banking details safe.  Hide me now." 

This is unacceptable behavior from a software.
I have been a fan of ccleaner and avast for a long time. No longer. 

I'm not sure what the next step is for this old xp computer, but I'm actively seeking a new protective strategy.

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23 hours ago, login123 said:

I'm not sure what the next step is for this old xp computer, but I'm actively seeking a new protective strategy.

Panda Dome Free ("Panda Free Antivirus") is ok for XP, but for some people it annoys them with pop-ups too. I rarely use my XP system anymore, but I think it will eventually get to the point on it that the only viable thing for it will be ClamWin or ClamWin Portable minus any real-time protection though.

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Thanks, Andavari.  Same thing happened again yesterday. I  was using startpage to look for a picture of an old thermometer I have, and got a similar but differently worded popup.

Sort of like a back seat driver . . .  "Do you see that stop sign?" 

The answer may eventually be Linux. 

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20 minutes ago, Andavari said:

...they wonder why people hate their software.

Please don't exaggerate!

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I switched to Linux on my old xp and vista boxes because of browsers no longer being supported.  Since CCleaner is not a Linux application,  I'm using an alternative.  It looks like it may be a blessing, considering what I continue to read on this forum.  Thanks for all the good years!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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55 minutes ago, Jamin4u said:

I switched to Linux on my old xp and vista boxes because of browsers no longer being supported.  Since CCleaner is not a Linux application,  I'm using an alternative.  It looks like it may be a blessing, considering what I continue to read on this forum.  Thanks for all the good years!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Great to see you are still around Jamin4u.

All the best to you too :)

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1 hour ago, Jamin4u said:

I switched to Linux on my old xp and vista boxes because of browsers no longer being supported.  Since CCleaner is not a Linux application,  I'm using an alternative.  It looks like it may be a blessing, considering what I continue to read on this forum.  Thanks for all the good years!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Quote

Great to see you are still around Jamin4u.

All the best to you too :)

Yeah, I'm still hanging around.  I do miss trying to help others on the forum.  What a great group of people here. Nothing but the best, for all of us.

 

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Hi, Jamin4u.  Good to see you.  :)
I also appreciate all the nice folks here who have been so helpful over the years.

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21 hours ago, login123 said:

Hi, Jamin4u.  Good to see you.  :)
I also appreciate all the nice folks here who have been so helpful over the years.

Hi login123, good to see you too. 

Its nice to have a place to go where everybody knows your login name. Cheers!

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On 12/1/2018 at 03:12, login123 said:

The answer may eventually be Linux. 

I was going to do that myself before I decided on my Win10 laptop instead. Thing with a Linux distro is if you have an older 32-bit system that's still a no-go in my opinion. Although I'm still tempted by those small form factor PCs, may have to get one of those and install Linux Mint on it and hook it up to my TV.

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On 12/3/2018 at 01:21, Andavari said:

I was going to do that myself before I decided on my Win10 laptop instead. Thing with a Linux distro is if you have an older 32-bit system that's still a no-go in my opinion. Although I'm still tempted by those small form factor PCs, may have to get one of those and install Linux Mint on it and hook it up to my TV.

Hi Andavari,  I'm using Q4OS on two 32-bit systems.  A 2005 desktop running the Trinity desktop and a 2008 laptop with the Plazma desktop.  I couldn't be happier how it brought them back to life. Full support until 2022.  If these boxes make it till then,  I will be surprised.

The 32bit installation  CD has the Trinity and Plazma Desktop along with others like Cinnamon  (Mint), Xfce,...  I'm using the current Firefox Quantum.  I hope the support last.

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With 32-bit you never know how long support will "last", they can "promise" something and then out of nowhere cut the cord.

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