What Data Will Ubuntu Collect?

Although Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has dismissed the concerns as "FUD ," Stallman argues that the Amazon integration is a real threat to user privacy, and urges "community opinion leaders" not to fall for the argument that the feature can simply be turned off.

How to Remove the Amazon Application From Ubuntu

To protect users' privacy, systems should make prudence easy: when a local search program has a network search feature, it should be up to the user to choose network search explicitly each time," he writes. Even before the Amazon feature was introduced, the FSF did not endorse the use of Ubuntu, saying that its use of "nonfree" software and rights restrictions mean that it didn't comply with the organization's strict guidelines. The organization's official website describes the Amazon ad linkage as "a malicious feature.

To protect users' privacy, systems should make prudence easy: when a local search program has a network search feature, it should be up to the user to choose network search explicitly each time.

This is easy: all it takes is to have separate buttons for network searches and local searches, as earlier versions of Ubuntu did. A network search feature should also inform the user clearly and concretely about who will get what personal information of hers, if and when she uses the feature.

Ubuntu, non-advertisements, and spyware

If a sufficient part of our community's opinion leaders view this issue in personal terms only, if they switch the surveillance off for themselves and continue to promote Ubuntu, Canonical might get away with it. That would be a great loss to the free software community. We who present free software as a defense against malware do not say it is a perfect defense. No perfect defense is known. We don't say the community will deter malware without fail.

Thus, strictly speaking, the Ubuntu spyware example doesn't mean we have to eat our words. But there's more at stake here than whether some of us have to eat some words. What's at stake is whether our community can effectively use the argument based on proprietary spyware. It behooves us to give Canonical whatever rebuff is needed to make it stop this.

Have a cookie

Any excuse Canonical offers is inadequate; even if it used all the money it gets from Amazon to develop free software, that can hardly overcome what free software will lose if it ceases to offer an effective way to avoid abuse of the users. If its practice of installing and recommending nonfree software didn't convince you to stop, let this convince you.


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Instead, tell people that Ubuntu is shunned for spying. While you're at it, you can also tell them that Ubuntu contains nonfree programs and suggests other nonfree programs. That will counteract the other form of negative influence that Ubuntu exerts in the free software community: legitimizing nonfree software. The presence of nonfree software in Ubuntu is a separate ethical issue.

For Ubuntu to be ethical, that too must be fixed. We defend the rights of all software users. There are also other ways to contact the FSF.

The mind behind Linux - Linus Torvalds

But it could do more. There are hundreds of Linux operating systems distributions but you're probably using Ubuntu. Here's why you might want to switch to one of the Ubuntu alternatives. This is difficult question for software designers. However, you run the risk of leaving users feeling uncomfortable and distrustful. Ubuntu has been around since Other Linux distributions have been around for longer. Contrast this with installing Linux, which is warm and informative - just two of many reasons to choose Linux The experience is more polished and stable without having to collect this kind of information about users.

So why now?


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  • Many of us would find the idea of the former to be an outrageous violation of privacy but the latter somehow acceptable. Ubuntu is the most widely-used version of desktop Linux. While many distributions have thousands of users, Ubuntu has millions. Many of those people will likely leave this featured enabled. Compared to the what Apple, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and other companies do with data, do we really have reason to suspect Canonical?

    Stallman slams Ubuntu, calls Amazon integration 'spyware'

    At the end of the day, whether you uncheck the box during installation or not, your response might be one giant shrug. Your email address will not be published. Gone to the Dark Side Canonical has! More Evil they will become like Big Brother Microsoft. Windows is Spyware as OS.

    Ubuntu’s big privacy headache

    I have watched Ubuntu go from being the "answer" to the Microsoft Dilemma" I have stopped using them since Nor do they attach something like Amazon to your distro without your consent. I've seen the latest version of Ubuntu running the Gnome desktop So Canonical will lose a large percentage of their users because of this. Its not "treachery" per-se, but it smacks of "os domination" from the looks of it. As I see it Or they can persist with what some would call "intrusive measures" and find out the hard way why they shouldn't have done this at all!

    If it is an option I have no problem with it. I prefer opt in to opt out, but both are okay as long as I have a choice. While most Linux OS's are free, and most Internet browsers are free, these people still need money and information to develop their systems and software. Now hidden and forced participation are different, but you can vote on those by moving on. Linux is not Microsoft.