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Telemetry CANCER started to spread throuhg Linux world

Handsome Jack

Member

Thanks: 23
Messages: 57

#1
Ubuntu Wants to Collect Data About Your System

Canonical chose today to tell the Ubuntu community of its plans to include a data collection tool in the Ubuntu 18.04 installer.

“We want to be able to focus our engineering efforts on the things that matter most to our users, and in order to do that we need to get some more data about sort of setups our users have and which software they are running on it,”

Since few (if any) users would choose to opt-in to share this sort of data, Canonical is making participation in the scheme entirely opt-out.

That means, unless you choose otherwise, Ubuntu 18.04 will automatically compile data about your system and send it back to the cheerful chaps and chapesses at Canonical HQ in order “help improve Ubuntu”.

‘Anyone who doesn’t want to share data with Ubuntu can quickly opt-out before install’
Beyond collecting some install-time data Canonical also says it wants to enable two other services to collect other data as you use your system:
Ubuntu Popcon - to track the relative popularity of apps, packages and so on
Apport - to automatically send anonymous crash reports

Canonical says it will make the results of the data it gathers public.

Anyone with a curious eye or of a nosey persuasion (i.e. bloggers like me) will be able to go online and see the overall percentage and spread of Ubuntu installs across the world, the hardware Ubuntu runs on, the amount of RAM users have, the apps they use the most, and so on.

And that excites me greatly!

Now, I know this should not be reason for panic or paranoia, but USUALLY bad things started this way, "for the benefit of users". This is just a benign start.
(Look what happen to F-35)
There are a lots of people who defend this Ubuntu move: "It is optional", "It is for improvement", "Those are only software-hardware infos", "All collected data is transparent"... And, from last line of quoted text, there are people who are excited! Geee... he/she really don't need much to be excited!

From exploring this theme through texts and Youtube comments, there is some percentage of users saying: "I'm going to switch to Debian, (or this or that) ..."
Is there a new wave of Ubuntu refugees on sight? Personally, I abandoned that wagon long time ago when Gnome3 and Unity was launched.
 

ShelLuser

Son of Beastie

Thanks: 1,192
Messages: 2,558

#2
I'm amused that some people are actually surprised by all this. If memory serves me right then in 2012 they had implemented an Amazon search engine within the desktop engine. So basically you'd search for stuff on your desktop and you'd get to see Amazon search results, aka: advertisements.

I didn't keep up with this development so I have no idea about the current state, but surely it should be obvious that a phone home option would be the logical next step? Ubuntu is run by a company afterall, which isn't in it for the love of the technology but for the love of cash.
 

Handsome Jack

Member

Thanks: 23
Messages: 57

#3
I'm not surprised by this, I just post that for amusement of forum members :) .
And I will not be surprised when telemetry will be implemented in systemd.
And I will not be surprised when telemetry will be implemented in FreeBSD. ;)
 

kpedersen

Daemon

Thanks: 299
Messages: 1,112

#6
My question is what they would intend to do with the data?
Lets say everyone reports an ARM processor on a Raspberry PI. Will they do anything about it? Will they develop some video drivers for the Pi? What can an upstream distro like Ubuntu actually do with this data?

I can only assume this data is collected for sale value only.
 

tingo

Daemon

Thanks: 320
Messages: 1,815

#7
And this is news why? Every browser in the last ten to twenty years or so has a more or less optional "send feedback" (aka telemetry / phone home) mechanism, and many (most) other software too. Every web site collects telemetry too. Is there more? Oh yes, cards. Money cards, credit cards, loyalty cards ("bonus" cards) and more. Every time you visit some place (physically or virtually) where you can be identified, you will leave a small bit of telemetry data behind.

For those of you who just awoke to do this reality today, I feel sorry for you.
 

ronaldlees

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 249
Messages: 645

#8
... Every browser in the last ten to twenty years or so has a more or less optional "send feedback" (aka telemetry / phone home) mechanism, and many (most) other software too.
...
tingo: That's true, but most of them have the annoying habit of making it an opt-out proposition, with the opt-out part buried deep inside the non-primary tier of configuration options, available usually as a second or third or "expert mode" click. IMO, it's obviously in most cases an attempt to obfuscate what they're doing, which if put into a business contract would get tossed out in court. Come to think of it, it IS a business contract. So, I think the courtroom is coming one of these days, and probably a new precedent will be set. More likely to start in EU tho. I don't know where the opt-out click is on the new Ubuntu, so can't throw a rock in that direction (yet).

Where I live they don't give a hoot for privacy. Not one whit's worth. In the EU, they care a little more. That's why I've been testing the Vivaldi browser (Iceland) a bit. It seems it's not as aggressive with the stuff I perceive as "my data" as Chrome/FF seems to be, but I still have to make some tweaks on it. Unfortunately, proprietary, so no BSD version is ever likely. OTOH, I didn't think they'd make an ARM version either, and I'm typing this using my Pi with Vivaldi.
 

ralphbsz

Daemon

Thanks: 613
Messages: 1,063

#11
Didn't FreeBSD have a similar mechanism too, where after a successful install it asked you to send the hardware configuration to a central repository? And didn't that mechanism dry up, because too few people sent information, or because nobody was looking at the data, or something like that? The details are foggy in my mind.

In theory, it sounds like a good idea: If you gather data about what kind of computers are really using a particular software, you can make decisions about what the real users want more intelligently. In theory, information is always a good thing. Unfortunately, privacy makes this awfully difficult to do correctly, perhaps impossible.

In practice, anyone who uses a computer today and thinks that they have privacy is not paying attention. Facebook, Google and Amazon know exactly what you do, want, think, ...
 

scottro

Daemon

Thanks: 384
Messages: 1,137

#12
Yes, and OpenBSD asks that you send dmesg or something like that, after installation. One does suspect though, that Canonical is more likely to try to monetize said information.
 

stratacast1

Active Member

Thanks: 19
Messages: 152

#14
I'm not a big fan that it's "opt-in"...I don't mind the collection if I get to choose if it's data worth sending. For example, I send telemetry data to Nextcloud. I think they're the only ones that I know of that let you see the full report? At least for what I use. I opt into the package survey for Debian on installs that will remain persistent (not many lately), LibreOffice...Fedora is opt-in by default with their automatic bug reporter, but I knew that already and trust that foundation, and I get to choose what data is sent. However, Canonical has an untrustworthy past, so I would not want them having that information on my systems. Again, glad I switched my Ubuntu server to FreeBSD. I only send data if I trust the foundation with the data, and if it isn't too sensitive

I'm amused that some people are actually surprised by all this. If memory serves me right then in 2012 they had implemented an Amazon search engine within the desktop engine. So basically you'd search for stuff on your desktop and you'd get to see Amazon search results, aka: advertisements.
They still have the advertisements. But, I didn't see them doing search suggestions like they used to in their modern releases. Just the Amazon app, which, I could only find out how to remove via command line
 

Trihexagonal

Daemon

Thanks: 496
Messages: 1,016

#15
My question is what they would intend to do with the data?
Lets say everyone reports an ARM processor on a Raspberry PI. Will they do anything about it? Will they develop some video drivers for the Pi? What can an upstream distro like Ubuntu actually do with this data?

I can only assume this data is collected for sale value only.
It was the part about www/waterfox sending of pings that made me flip my lid. I probably could have broken it, but I don't even want it on ,my machines.

I'm liking www/seamonkey more and more. It can use an old version of NoScript. That, ultimate control of scripting, and proper rendering of a page are the basic necessities for me to use a browser.
 

ILUXA

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 313
Messages: 515

#16
Facebook, Google and Amazon know exactly what you do, want, think, ...
It is true, Google is evil IMO.
But there are still some options to try, if you want good search results,
but without tracking, use startpage as your search engine,
it fetches results from the Google search engine,
but this is done without saving the users' IP addresses
or giving any personal user information to Google's servers
.
Also, prior to the release of Tor Browser version 4.5,
Startpage.com was its default search engine
.
I like it much, it is even possible to choose theme
on startpage, I like "night" theme :)



Also Ecosia search engine exist, watch their ads and plant trees :)
Ecosia is a web search engine based in Berlin, Germany, which donates 80%
of its surplus income to non-profit conservationist organizations, with a focus on tree planting.



What about facebook... Just don't use it ;)
 
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