Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

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stormryder
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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by stormryder » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:20 pm

JeremyB wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:50 pm
stop using social media sites like facebook
?? Who said anything about using facebook? This is about your operating system collecting data. The operating system has control over every single bit of information on my computer right?
I don't need my OS collecting data and reporting to ubuntu or debian, which offered to report what software I was using back to debian when I installed it, by the way.
The fact is this is exactly what is being described in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=263031
The only difference is that my computer has the ability to gather a lot more sensitive information than my coffee pot.
Penn and Teller got a word for that.

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by KBD47 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:59 pm

It should be opt in instead of opt out.
I suspect Ubuntu wants the user data--perhaps for a future sale?

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by catweazel » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:43 am

thx-1138 wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:14 am
catweazel wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:05 am
michael louwe wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:51 am
ie impose user data collection in Ubuntu, and I would gladly support and install such a Ubuntu or LM.
I wouldn't. Microsoft's advertising and installing unwanted promotional apps was one of the reasons I gave it the boot.
+1

No way i would support & make use of a distro that does 'user data collection'.
'Data collection' is only for selling them to the various interested advertising parties out there:
all the pseudo-arguments in regards to 'future improvements' are 110% fairy tales.
Indeed, and the choice available with Linux distros puts the lie to the need to collect and sell personal data.
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michael louwe
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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by michael louwe » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:10 am

@ catweazel, .......
catweazel wrote:Indeed, and the choice available with Linux distros puts the lie to the need to collect and sell personal data.
.
And all those tens of very-private and free Linux distros, collectively, has only a world Desktop OS market share of < 2% since 1991. This has resulted in the lack of popular apps/programs/games and non-mainstream device drivers for Linux = a vicious cycle of miniscule world Desktop OS market share for Linux = FAIL.
... "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results" = Albert Einstein.

Canonical Inc may be able to break the above vicious cycle of market failure for the Ubuntu/Linux Desktop OS by copying Google's business model for Android/ChromeOS/Chrome, ie impose user-data collection.
... The other alternative is to copy M$'s successful business model for Windows/Office, ie charge license fees.
"If you can't beat them, join them".

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by catweazel » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:25 am

michael louwe wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:10 am
Canonical Inc may be able to break the above vicious cycle of market failure
There is, in general, no market therefore no failure.
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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by Lucap » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:21 am

We need to start a poll , Are we Drama Queens? :P

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by thx-1138 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:05 am

Michael, i don't recall data collection & selling of them being much of a thing in 1991, 1996, 2001...and actually, not even until few years ago.
It's a last 10 yrs trend & 'business model' more or less to speak of: all hail the Big Brother now...before that,
it was mainly search engines that were accused of doing such. It's certainly not the 'general lack of telemetry' under Linux that makes it being the 2%.

Windows 8 and nowadays Win10 is full of telemetry & such: i'm struggling to see in what way this resulted in those operating systems being somehow better for end-users...
ChromeOS, which has been in the market since quite a few yrs, has telemetry as well (as pretty much any Google product does...): not sure in what manner it could be called to be 'better' than Mint, Debian, you-name-it...

So, telemetry didn't made 'better' neither Windows neither linux-based Chrome. What it certainly did though, was to make some stockholders richer & some advertising CEOs happier...As you said...
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results" = Albert Einstein.
Lucap wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:21 am
We need to start a poll , Are we Drama Queens? :P
Of course we are! :lol: We want Poll, we want Poll... :D

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by DAMIEN1307 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:22 am

no drama queen...lol...just the RIGHT, not the privilege, to be left alone...does anyone who formerly used windows 10 hoover vacuum cleaner remember just how much it slowed down your system everytime they turned on the super sucker?...does anyone remember just how much more thrashing around of the CPU/APU, HDD, etc that we used to experience?, does anyone remember those forced updates that eventually derived from this as a result of their collecting info that has borked our systems?...this is not just an invasion of privacy issue...this crap causes excessive wear and tare on OUR machines which when in need of repair and replacement takes more and more money out of OUR wallets...NOT there coffers...simply put, I built this machine with my own hands and my own money...not anyone elses...so if these are not enough reasons to rebel against this, then i dont know what is...how soon people forget...so if anyone DOES truly think this statement is "drama", then so be it...i call it common sense along with my RIGHT to not be bothered with BIG BROTHER tactics...would you let someone come into your house without a warrant or a court order to examine your computer or search your house?...im pretty certain you wouldnt...you would say its a violation of your civil rights...then i ask...what exactly would you call this?...how about unwelcome scam phone calls trying to invade your bank accounts...you would not stand for it would you?...it always starts with such LITTLE THINGS like this...just say NO...enough is enough...also keep this statement in mind when all of a sudden, microsoft decided to "embrace" linux...

"Mark Shuttleworth, founder and CEO of Canonical, says Microsoft's embracing of GNU and Linux is a good thing for open source software as a whole.
"It's not like Microsoft is stealing our toys, it's more that we're sharing them with Microsoft in order to give everyone the best possible experience," he said.

well it looks like microsoft is also sharing with Canonical and mark shuttleworth just how to play hoover vacuum, slurping up all it can...remember that microsoft started also with just a little info, its just a LITTLE THING...how soon we forget...DAMIEN
ORDO AB CHAO

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michael louwe
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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by michael louwe » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:12 am

@ thx-1138, .......
thx-1138 wrote:Michael, i don't recall data collection & selling of them being much of a thing in 1991, 1996, 2001...and actually, not even until few years ago.
Those years were the era of the Desktop OS when M$'s business model trumped over Apple's more evil or greedy business model of selling both OS software and hardware, ie M$ charged the OEMs and users Windows license fees fairly, in order for M$ to be able to hire staff to develop and maintain Windows(eg Win 3.1/95/XP) to be very user-friendly to the masses and well-supported = Windows has about 90% world market share today.
... During those years, free Linux Desktop OS lost out because they came to the Desktop party about 10 years too late and the OS was quite unuser-friendly to the masses and not well-supported.

From the 2000s onwards, Broadband Internet and the World Wide Web allowed free Web Search Engines to develop a new business model, ie have their users see promotional search results and/or targeted ads in exchange for the free use of the Search Engine = user data collection imposed = can be considered as a fair trade, similar to ads-filled free-to-air TV shows from ABC, CBS and FOX. Google Search eventually trumped over Yahoo Search with their better Search technology = Google Search has 64% world market share today.
... When Google released their free Android (based on Linux) Mobile OS to the world market in 2007, it was designed with this business model in mind, ie to get revenue from the sales of ads, apps and user data(to marketers) = Android has about 70% world market share today.
... M$ failed with their free-too WindowsPhone OS because they came to the Mobile party about 5 years too late and resorted to selling both hardware and OS software together, like what Apple has done with MacOS and iOS. Google mostly licensed out their Android to the OEMs for free.

Like the luxury goods and sports car market, Apple always has a small niche market for their super-expensive and flashy iOS and MacOS devices.

So, in the tech world, there has been only 3 successful business model, ie M$, Google and Apple. If Canonical Inc or any other major Linux distro want to be successful in the world market, they will have to pick one because "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results".
Last edited by michael louwe on Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by Nate » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:31 am

I don't really consider it much cause for concern personally. There's enough of the open source community who are privacy focused that if privacy is a priority there will always be another alternative to jump into. If it leads to better hardware support for Linux or any other potential perk anyone has guessed at, it might be of net benefit to us all regardless, even if we were to choose a more privacy respecting distro.

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by thx-1138 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:37 am

Michael, Canonical will never be a huge success on the desktop market (that is, with telemetry or without...)
They made an impressive entry back in 2004...yet, still, regardless of all the various improvements, here we are 14 yrs later:
from approximately 1.3%, to what nowadays is roughly 2.3%...
14 yrs for merely a 1% difference (and which isn't necessarily using Ubuntu & variants as well).

Neither XP SP2 breakage back in the day, neither Vista, neither Win8's Metro interface, neither Win10's spying abilities & forced updates convinced the 'masses' to migrate to Linux...
And also, neither ChromeOS from ultra-powerful multi-billions worth Alphabet / Google did convince them as well.

Merely couple hours ago i stumbled upon this, on a very well-known & high-traffic site, and i really couldn't stop laughing to be honest...
https://www.howtogeek.com/342871/hey-mi ... ut-asking/

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by Schultz » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:04 pm

< Dumb question alert. >

How (or Will) this affect Mint, since it's based on Ubuntu?

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by catweazel » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:13 pm

Schultz wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:04 pm
< Dumb question alert. >

How (or Will) this affect Mint, since it's based on Ubuntu?
It shouldn't. Cannonical have tried this before and the Mint devs remove all the Cannonical crap.
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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by Penn » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:36 am

stormryder wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:20 pm
I don't need my OS collecting data and reporting to ubuntu or debian, which offered to report what software I was using back to debian when I installed it, by the way.
The fact is this is exactly what is being described in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=263031
The only difference is that my computer has the ability to gather a lot more sensitive information than my coffee pot.
Penn and Teller got a word for that.
catweazel wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:13 pm
Schultz wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:04 pm
< Dumb question alert. >

How (or Will) this affect Mint, since it's based on Ubuntu?
It shouldn't. Cannonical have tried this before and the Mint devs remove all the Cannonical crap.
I was wondering if these 2 things would be mentioned.

Debian uses the popcorn idea to report on what apps users want most as of Stretch. You have to agree to it during install and if you don't, it isn't included.

Canonical has experienced backlash for similar things in the past. At one time you had to go in after install to turn off the menu's search "feature" which used Amazon.

I see a big difference between the two distros when it comes to this. Debian is not a corporate developed OS and holds closer to GNU and open source principle. If popcorn was being used to do something shady there people would know. If Ubuntu's popcorn is derived from the same, it should be open source too. Hsowever Ubuntu does use some proprietary components. In theory they could add even more telemetry the way Microsoft has done (Apple is worse about doing the same from what I hear) in a secretive manner. Given it is from a corporation and the past misdeed with Amazon I can see why people would be suspicious. Add to that the fact Ubuntu is even more cozy with Microsoft than other distros...

If it is an opt in instead of opt out and during the install process along with being upfront about exactly what they are doing I don't see the problem. I trust Debian to be more upfront than Cannonical. I also expect Mint will do their usual job of removing or just not carrying over these things from Ubuntu.

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by felemur » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:34 am

So I actually read what info they are gathering. I personally have no issue with what they want - actually it makes sense so they can know where to focus their efforts. I wouldn't even opt out - and I'm a privacy nut.

You have to choose your battles IMO. There are far worse privacy issues regarding computer/mobile phone use and in the physical world than this.

Did you know that in California, a law was just passed saying you cannot cover the licence plate on your car when parked. This allows automatic plate tracking by private companies that drive around with automatic plate scanners attached to their cars. They sell the information of where you go and when. This is being done in most big cities now. This kind of meta data gathering is a real issue, and this is just one small example.

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by thx-1138 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:24 pm

What really surprises me is the amount of people who think that telemetry can:
1) result in better hardware compatibility...
2) help Canonical (or whatever company) in 'focusing' their efforts...

1) Better hardware compatibility is 95% (if not more...) due to kernel improvements. Also, due to ('free' or 'not-free') firmware availability & further enablement.
To make some fun out of it, last i checked, the Linux kernel hasn't had telemetry abilities in the 27 yrs of it's development in order to become better or more...'compatible'. However, i would certainly hesitate to claim the same for Windows though...

2) 'Focus' in what exactly? We're talking about a company that has currently 550 employees, and a 14-yrs history. Meaning, there's no question that they have a very much proper 'infrastructure'. 'Focus' on bugs? 'Focus' on 'popular software'? Focus on what end-users are likely to consume?
So, wait...with a few millions of users, with serious contracts with high-profile customers, mailing lists, with Launchpad's daily bug reports, with AskUbuntu, with Ubuntu's own forums and various other 'friendly' media (eg. omgubuntu)...and 14 yrs corporate experience on top of that, and they magically still don't know on which computers their OS works or not, and furthermore, which pieces of software the majority of people likes & uses?

We're not talking about 2-3 guys coding for the fun of it in their basement and doing their baby steps, who *assume* that roughly 1000, 5000, at best 10000 random 'weirdos' spread among the 7.6 billion people in the globe might have downloaded and be using their product. They have an infrastructure and know very well both their end-user base and who their customers are (and why).

On a side note: Firefox started saying (and gradually doing) the same stuff due to...'external pressure', and the results are known - their already quite a bit shrunken base compared to the glorious pre-Chrome days, started leaking over to Palemoon, Waterfox and the likes...
Or alternatively, they just manually removed & disabled the relevant unwanted tracking 'features' / extensions etc (where there's a will, there's a way...)

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by ghoultek » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:34 pm

Sorry gents. I didn't realize we already had a thread on this topic before I created another. A link to the thread I created:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=264101

My questions are:
- What is the LinuxMint team's viewpoint on this?
- Will the team use the 18.04 LTS as the base for the next release of Mint or will they switch to another base distro?
- What are the opinions of the community members?

Personally, I think its a terrible idea in the realm of betrayal of trust. There are reasons why I choose and recommend Mint vs. the raw Ubuntu. Privacy is a big part of it. Just imagine the blow back one will encounter in discussions about Linux. As soon as we cite the privacy issues of Win 10, any heckler/clown within a google search will counter that point with Will Cooke's mail-list post, and the OMG Ubuntu article where they clearly are trying to make it seem like its no big deal. Worse is if I get someone to try Linux and I bring up privacy issues only to have this data collection mess be thrown back at me a few weeks/months down the line. It will look like I intentionally tried to mislead them.

This isn't just an attack on our privacy. It is an attack on the reputation of Linux (OS/distros), the reputation of the Linux community and the reputation of each of us as members of the community. This brings Linux down to the level of Windows 10, which makes the indirect battle against the misperception and misinformation a bigger challenge. Misinformation and the rumor-mill spread of it will feed misperception which will persist for years.

If we look at the list of data to be collected at install it is almost a replica of the MS Window User Experience Improvement program data collection list.
- Unbuntu Flavor/Version - implies that Mint and the other derivatives will have no choice in participating in this data collection effort (a pretty ugly implication)
- Location - I keep the location feature on my phone turned off. I do not allow websites to access my location information although my IP address would give away my general location anyway.
- Auto login enabled or not - Indicating if this is a security lax install or not... usually associated with stationary home PCs which adds to the relevance of location data
- Disk layout selected - Ubuntu only?.. or dual boot Windows?... hackintosh?... what goodies do you have tucked away on that storage device?
- Third party software selected or not - doesn't matter until the MPAA or codec owners use the US Federal gov. to force Canonical to turn over this and Popcon info
- Popcon (not popcorn) - is usage tracking... on-going usage tracking... doesn't this make 18.04 equivalent to Win10?
- Apport - default inclusion in the data collection program... depending on what is collected it could be anywhere from benign to dangerous (browser crash while online banking and app. memory dump file sent)
- “diagnostics=false” sent if user opts out - similar to a camera shy tick counter not a true opt-out

Not storing the IP address won't matter. The user's IP address is just means to an end. The location data from from IP-to-location lookup is vastly more valuable. The IP-to-location lookup could happen every time Popcon reports home. Don't store the IP address, store the latitude/longitude coordinates. In the United States, IP-to-location lookup can determine:
- one's political district
- the county or municipality
- postal zone (zip code region)
- telephone area code region
- proximity to local retailers and banks
- proximity to local schools, polling/voting sites, police precincts and fire dept. locations
- approximate household income based on location (by zip code, or by latitude/logitude <-> street address <-> zip code)
- if certain federal agencies have jurisdiction (ex: border patrol within 100 miles of any US border)

God help the clueless user who connects directly to the internet via cable modem without a router/firewall using IPv6 (yeah because he/she would be on Linux and Linux don't get no stinking viruses like Windows right? /wink). Correct me if I'm wrong but a MAC address can be harvested from an IPv6 address which is a unique ID.

This is amounts to a digital finger print because they are going to turn the data into a relational database (RDB). RDB's are dependent on primary keys (unique IDs). Popcon data sounds like it will need unique IDs. Even if they collect the data as tick counters (+1 app X and -1 app y) its still on-going surveillance. There is no mention of what specific data Popcon transmits.

There is just way too much opportunity to turn the data collection/publishing into a revenue generating activity. Publishing the data in a searchable manner just means search engines like Google/Bing will be able cache and track the data over time along with Canonical. So, if M$/Google/Amazon or any other interested 3rd parties paid Canonical a few million $$$ to do the dirty work of data collection they would be transmitting the data to the buyer without having to transmit data. It also provides partial but concrete evidence to support that 1% - 2% Linux desktop market share crap, which serves to help M$. If a telecom company purchased Canonical/Ubuntu or just signed contract with Canonical/Ubuntu they could link the Ubuntu collected data to their own users. The linked data has real monetary value. This is a real possibility not a tin foil hat prospect.

There are long-term implications as well such as Shuttleworth deciding to sell off Ubuntu. The data collected and the collection infrastructure will be a factor in the sale price because it adds value to Ubuntu as tradable commodity. Lastly, Cooke says, "The Ubuntu privacy policy would be updated to reflect this change." They are rushing so fast to put this in place that they haven't even fleshed out the changes to their privacy policy document. In layman's terms they have not consulted with their legal department yet, and their in-house attorneys will have to scramble to provide them with legal protection.

The last part about the privacy policy really drives home my gut feeling that Canonical has already been paid to put this in place. I know many are going to be thinking "paranoid" and "tin-foil hat" until they realize how this all connects to big money. Canonical does not need this information.

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by Lucap » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:12 am

OMG , walls of text.

Reverse out of thread , meep , meep , meep , meep

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by punkbiscuit » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:22 am

I don't trust them.

Anyone who says it's to improve our service, we care about your privacy, we will never sell your data, only shared with specially selected partners,
we value your privacy, your privacy is important to us (yeah it is isn't it - think about it !) and your data is secure all that stuff always turn out to be liars.

From govt departments, companies, marketing people, customer feedback, banks, and it's all ended up being leaky or misused.

Trust no one.

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Re: Canonical Pursuing A Hardware/Software Survey For Ubuntu Installations

Post by ghoultek » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:36 pm

@Lucap:
We should show it to Trump. He would be proud. He likes walls.
Rewind it and re-read it.

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