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Old 10-11-2011, 11:43 AM
Jo-Erlend Schinstad
 
Default Does Ubuntu upload personal information by default and without permission now?

I was a little bit surprised to read that the Music Lense will actually
send your searches to an online database by default and without asking
any permission beforehand. In earlier versions of Ubuntu, things like
popcon have not been activated by default and you've always been
confident that there are no open ports and no data being transmitted
unless you've asked for it.


I had difficulties believing this to be true, so I tested it. I searched
for an artist of which I have no records, and sure enough, the music
lense told me I could purchase it. I then disconnected from the network
and searched again and this time, I got no advertisement. A very simple
test that anyone can perform, and it indicated to me that the search was
indeed being sent to some online service. Does this apply to all my
searches? What else is being uploaded about me?


I was just about to sniff my network to see for myself when I came to my
senses... If people even get the impression that they are being
monitored by their own system, then Ubuntu has certainly lost.
Technologies like Zeitgeist are great, but they also mean it's more
important than ever that absolutely no information is being transmitted
without asking permission first and that user always knows what is being
sent. The feeling of loosing that confidence was not a good one.


I think the advertisements in the lenses, whether it's for software or
music, needs to be deactivated. Not only does it validate the notion
that Ubuntu is "free for a reason, just like GMail", but it might also
cause users to loose confidence in their own privacy.


It just isn't worth it.

Jo-Erlend Schinstad

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Old 10-11-2011, 03:08 PM
Didier Roche
 
Default Does Ubuntu upload personal information by default and without permission now?

Le 11/10/2011 13:43, Jo-Erlend Schinstad a écrit :
I was a little bit surprised to read that the Music Lense will
actually send your searches to an online database by default and
without asking any permission beforehand. In earlier versions of
Ubuntu, things like popcon have not been activated by default and
you've always been confident that there are no open ports and no data
being transmitted unless you've asked for it.


I had difficulties believing this to be true, so I tested it. I
searched for an artist of which I have no records, and sure enough,
the music lense told me I could purchase it. I then disconnected from
the network and searched again and this time, I got no advertisement.
A very simple test that anyone can perform, and it indicated to me
that the search was indeed being sent to some online service. Does
this apply to all my searches? What else is being uploaded about me?


I was just about to sniff my network to see for myself when I came to
my senses... If people even get the impression that they are being
monitored by their own system, then Ubuntu has certainly lost.
Technologies like Zeitgeist are great, but they also mean it's more
important than ever that absolutely no information is being
transmitted without asking permission first and that user always knows
what is being sent. The feeling of loosing that confidence was not a
good one.


I think the advertisements in the lenses, whether it's for software or
music, needs to be deactivated. Not only does it validate the notion
that Ubuntu is "free for a reason, just like GMail", but it might also
cause users to loose confidence in their own privacy.


It just isn't worth it.

Jo-Erlend Schinstad



Hey Jo-Erland,

Thanks for sharing your concern, however this is only for music
searches, nothing personal to you is uploaded. It's the same than the
automatic apt-get update which is done: there is a request with your ip
to get the latest package list, so a connexion on the network you are
maybe not aware of.


This search is performed by the ubuntuone music scope from the music
lens (unity-scope-musicstores) that you can remove independtly from the
music lens. This is not at all advertisement, but just a way for people
to find the same result that they can perform in banshee with the
ubuntuone music store.


Just note that you can basically have the same reaction when banshee is
looking for a thumbnail of the currently listened albums and we heard no
complain about it? I get your reaction is only because you perceive it
as advertisement, which is not the case there? What can we do so that
it's not perceived this way?


Didier


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Old 10-11-2011, 08:04 PM
Matthew Paul Thomas
 
Default Does Ubuntu upload personal information by default and without permission now?

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Jo-Erlend Schinstad wrote on 11/10/11 12:43:
> ...
>
> I had difficulties believing this to be true, so I tested it. I
> searched for an artist of which I have no records, and sure
> enough, the music lense told me I could purchase it. I then
> disconnected from the network and searched again and this time, I
> got no advertisement. A very simple test that anyone can perform,
> and it indicated to me that the search was indeed being sent to
> some online service. Does this apply to all my searches? What else
> is being uploaded about me?
>
> I was just about to sniff my network to see for myself when I came
> to my senses... If people even get the impression that they are
> being monitored by their own system, then Ubuntu has certainly
> lost. Technologies like Zeitgeist are great, but they also mean
> it's more important than ever that absolutely no information is
> being transmitted without asking permission first and that user
> always knows what is being sent. The feeling of loosing that
> confidence was not a good one.
>
> ...


Apple had an equivalent privacy problem with the iTunes MiniStore five
years ago. <http://boingboing.net/2006/01/11/itunes-update-spies.html>

They fixed it by (a) making it opt-in, and (b) explaining it inside
iTunes itself. <http://daringfireball.net/2006/01/itunes_ministore>

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Old 10-12-2011, 01:51 PM
Jason Warner
 
Default Does Ubuntu upload personal information by default and without permission now?

Hi Jo-Erlend ,
Thanks for taking the time to write up your thoughts and caring enough about Ubuntu to share them with the list!*
I have some general thoughts on this and then more specific music lens thoughts.*


Privacy is an important component of Ubuntu computing and we take that seriously. As Ubuntu opens more networked services, privacy continues to be a core value.*
Specifically with the Music Lens, the data sent and the results returned are innocuous in nature (there is no user specific information sent etc), though I acknowledge that some people will simply not want this additional functionality if they consider this a breach of their personal privacy. As we strive to bring value to our users, we are also committed to ensuring privacy continues to be a core value.


While we suspect most users will have no concern about the data sent and returned, for those who do the current way to remove this is to simply uninstall the music scope[1]. I recognize that this is neither optional nor user friendly so I'll be looking at adding opt-out options for services like this in the future generally and specifically for this one in a possible SRU.*


Bottom line, everyone needs to be concerned with privacy now and in the future and it must be balanced with adding great services for the vast majority of people. Again, thanks for bringing this up, it was great input. It raised an area that we can improve and are going to do just that!


Thanks,Jason
[1] -*apt-get remove --purge unity-scope-musicstores





On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 12:43 PM, Jo-Erlend Schinstad <joerlend.schinstad@gmail.com> wrote:



I was a little bit surprised to read that the Music Lense will actually send your searches to an online database by default and without asking any permission beforehand. In earlier versions of Ubuntu, things like popcon have not been activated by default and you've always been confident that there are no open ports and no data being transmitted unless you've asked for it.






I had difficulties believing this to be true, so I tested it. I searched for an artist of which I have no records, and sure enough, the music lense told me I could purchase it. I then disconnected from the network and searched again and this time, I got no advertisement. A very simple test that anyone can perform, and it indicated to me that the search was indeed being sent to some online service. Does this apply to all my searches? What else is being uploaded about me?






I was just about to sniff my network to see for myself when I came to my senses... If people even get the impression that they are being monitored by their own system, then Ubuntu has certainly lost. Technologies like Zeitgeist are great, but they also mean it's more important than ever that absolutely no information is being transmitted without asking permission first and that user always knows what is being sent. The feeling of loosing that confidence was not a good one.






I think the advertisements in the lenses, whether it's for software or music, needs to be deactivated. Not only does it validate the notion that Ubuntu is "free for a reason, just like GMail", but it might also cause users to loose confidence in their own privacy.






It just isn't worth it.



Jo-Erlend Schinstad



--

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https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-desktop



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Old 10-12-2011, 05:18 PM
David Barth
 
Default Does Ubuntu upload personal information by default and without permission now?

Le 11/10/2011 22:04, Matthew Paul Thomas a écrit :

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Jo-Erlend Schinstad wrote on 11/10/11 12:43:

...

I had difficulties believing this to be true, so I tested it. I
searched for an artist of which I have no records, and sure
enough, the music lense told me I could purchase it. I then
disconnected from the network and searched again and this time, I
got no advertisement. A very simple test that anyone can perform,
and it indicated to me that the search was indeed being sent to
some online service. Does this apply to all my searches? What else
is being uploaded about me?

I was just about to sniff my network to see for myself when I came
to my senses... If people even get the impression that they are
being monitored by their own system, then Ubuntu has certainly
lost. Technologies like Zeitgeist are great, but they also mean
it's more important than ever that absolutely no information is
being transmitted without asking permission first and that user
always knows what is being sent. The feeling of loosing that
confidence was not a good one.

...


Apple had an equivalent privacy problem with the iTunes MiniStore five
years ago.<http://boingboing.net/2006/01/11/itunes-update-spies.html>

They fixed it by (a) making it opt-in, and (b) explaining it inside
iTunes itself.<http://daringfireball.net/2006/01/itunes_ministore>
Which I think, under further guidance of the Design team, we could turn
into a mode whereby results are only retrieved if the user unfolds the
section containing suggestions.


At the moment, search queries are passed to all scopes in advance, to
let them retrieve results as fast as possible and provide feedback for
the user as he keeps typing. That is the case for both scopes working on
local content, as well as online ones.


We can look into differentiating them for O+1 (now Precise). However I'm
afraid that the only way to solve that particular privacy concern is to
remove the scope altogether for now:


apt-get remove --purge unity-scope-musicstores

as also mentioned by Jason in this thread.

Note however (and I think Mikkel mentioned it as well) that no queries
are made if you search from the Home dash lens. If you hit <SUPER> and
type your query, it won't go hit the Ubuntu One servers. Unity only
makes queries to the Music store if you explicitly search into the Music
lens itself.


I hope this clarifies.

David

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Old 10-12-2011, 05:36 PM
Jeremy Bicha
 
Default Does Ubuntu upload personal information by default and without permission now?

On 12 October 2011 13:18, David Barth <david.barth@canonical.com> wrote:
> Which I think, under further guidance of the Design team, we could turn into
> a mode whereby results are only retrieved if the user unfolds the section
> containing suggestions.
>
> At the moment, search queries are passed to all scopes in advance, to let
> them retrieve results as fast as possible and provide feedback for the user
> as he keeps typing. That is the case for both scopes working on local
> content, as well as online ones.
>
> We can look into differentiating them for O+1 (now Precise). However I'm
> afraid that the only way to solve that particular privacy concern is to
> remove the scope altogether for now:
>
> apt-get remove --purge unity-scope-musicstores
>
> as also mentioned by Jason in this thread.
>
> Note however (and I think Mikkel mentioned it as well) that no queries are
> made if you search from the Home dash lens. If you hit <SUPER> and type your
> query, it won't go hit the Ubuntu One servers. Unity only makes queries to
> the Music store if you explicitly search into the Music lens itself.

Alternatively, could the entire online store "library" be cached to
user's computers? This should speed up search and there shouldn't be a
privacy concern. It could be similar to what app-install-data does.
But how much space would this data take?

(Drifting offtopic, would it make sense for the Music Store to be part
of Software Center?)

I suspect that some people complaining would also object to the Apps
lens showing Apps Available for Download even though no information is
being sent to the web there, just because of the extra clutter. And
it's especially annoying to show those downloadable apps to users who
don't have admin privileges.

Jeremy

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Old 10-12-2011, 05:52 PM
David Barth
 
Default Does Ubuntu upload personal information by default and without permission now?

Le 12/10/2011 19:36, Jeremy Bicha a écrit :

On 12 October 2011 13:18, David Barth<david.barth@canonical.com> wrote:

Which I think, under further guidance of the Design team, we could turn into
a mode whereby results are only retrieved if the user unfolds the section
containing suggestions.

At the moment, search queries are passed to all scopes in advance, to let
them retrieve results as fast as possible and provide feedback for the user
as he keeps typing. That is the case for both scopes working on local
content, as well as online ones.

We can look into differentiating them for O+1 (now Precise). However I'm
afraid that the only way to solve that particular privacy concern is to
remove the scope altogether for now:

apt-get remove --purge unity-scope-musicstores

as also mentioned by Jason in this thread.

Note however (and I think Mikkel mentioned it as well) that no queries are
made if you search from the Home dash lens. If you hit<SUPER> and type your
query, it won't go hit the Ubuntu One servers. Unity only makes queries to
the Music store if you explicitly search into the Music lens itself.

Alternatively, could the entire online store "library" be cached to
user's computers? This should speed up search and there shouldn't be a
privacy concern. It could be similar to what app-install-data does.
But how much space would this data take?
I don't know either. But I suspect that would take some previous space
on the CD and then local install. Not to mention the need for very
frequent updates. And an out-of-date database would be even worse, ie
not returning any of the new music hits.


I feel the online mode is the only one really making sense.

David

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Old 10-12-2011, 06:22 PM
John Rowland Lenton
 
Default Does Ubuntu upload personal information by default and without permission now?

On Wed, 12 Oct 2011 19:18:43 +0200, David Barth <david.barth@canonical.com> wrote:
> Le 11/10/2011 22:04, Matthew Paul Thomas a écrit :
> >
> > Apple had an equivalent privacy problem with the iTunes MiniStore five
> > years ago.<http://boingboing.net/2006/01/11/itunes-update-spies.html>

there's a significant difference, in that (at least according to that
article) iTunes sent information about everything you were listening to,
as opposed to explicit searches which is what we're doing.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:08 PM
John Rowland Lenton
 
Default Does Ubuntu upload personal information by default and without permission now?

On Wed, 12 Oct 2011 13:36:29 -0400, Jeremy Bicha <jbicha@ubuntu.com> wrote:
>
> Alternatively, could the entire online store "library" be cached to
> user's computers? This should speed up search and there shouldn't be a
> privacy concern. It could be similar to what app-install-data does.
> But how much space would this data take?
>

I'd love to, but it's updated weekly, and is several tens of gigabytes
in size.


> (Drifting offtopic, would it make sense for the Music Store to be part
> of Software Center?)
>
> I suspect that some people complaining would also object to the Apps
> lens showing Apps Available for Download even though no information is
> being sent to the web there, just because of the extra clutter. And
> it's especially annoying to show those downloadable apps to users who
> don't have admin privileges.

what do you mean? apps available for download *are* shown.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:09 PM
Jo-Erlend Schinstad
 
Default Does Ubuntu upload personal information by default and without permission now?

Den 12. okt. 2011 19:52, skrev David Barth:
I don't know either. But I suspect that would take some previous space
on the CD and then local install. Not to mention the need for very
frequent updates. And an out-of-date database would be even worse, ie
not returning any of the new music hits.


I feel the online mode is the only one really making sense.


Well, unlike software packages, released albums usually aren't updated,
so only new albums would have to be downloaded. I don't think it would
be useful to download all the song titles in the world just for the sake
of privacy though. Most people wouldn't mind searching for music online,
as long as they know they're doing it.


But I do think the online search should be opt-in instead of opt-out.
It's better to err on the side of caution in cases where privacy is at
all an issue.


Jo-Erlend Schinstad


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