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Search leaks:

I'm reading this article about Amazon ads etc on Electronic Frontier Foundation. Well, it seems like Ubuntu developers set themselves on the path of Dark Side. So my first question is:
Is it possible to completely avoid all this leaks, what EFF writing about?


Mysterious cite about 'trust us your data':

This article also has a citation of Mark Shuttleworth's words about privacy issues:

We are not telling Amazon what you are searching for. Your anonymity is preserved because we handle the query on your behalf. Don’t trust us? Erm, we have root. You do trust us with your data already. You trust us not to screw up on your machine with every update. You trust Debian, and you trust a large swathe of the open source community. And most importantly, you trust us to address it when, being human, we err.

See highlighted phrase.
So he says, that besides search leaks, some another data leaks a provided in Ubuntu? What about is he talking? What is the meaning of this phrase?

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It means exactly what it says after: “You trust us not to screw up on your machine with every update” –  Fitoschido Jan 6 '13 at 19:13
    
possible duplicate of How can I remove Amazon search results from the dash? –  Jorge Castro Jan 6 '13 at 20:18
    
@JorgeCastro This is asking two questions, both of which are practical and answerable (and have been answered here). While it's bad to ask two questions in one post, neither of them is quite the same as simply asking how one can prevent oneself from seeing Amazon search results (even if the privacy consequences are the same). I'm not sure we should consider this a duplicate of that. –  Eliah Kagan Jan 6 '13 at 20:35
    
This question should be split then, and at least fixed, "Beginner - Ubuntu privacy question" isn't a question. –  Jorge Castro Jan 6 '13 at 20:36
    
@JorgeCastro Yes, I agree. IWantToBelieve: Please let us know if you want help editing/splitting this so it can be reopened/merged. (It's OK for this to remain closed too, though.) –  Eliah Kagan Jan 6 '13 at 23:33
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closed as not constructive by mikewhatever, Alvar, Jorge Castro, Eric Carvalho, Rafał Cieślak Jan 6 '13 at 20:41

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3 Answers

I think it is meant, that you trust Canonical your data already because you use their operating system.

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Since when using someones operating system has come to automatically also trusting your data to them? –  IWantToBelieve Jan 6 '13 at 18:37
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Well, they actually could take your data, they could destroy your system, because they're the maintainers. But you trust them, that they won't do it. –  lub Jan 6 '13 at 18:39
    
In thet perspective, it turns like Shuttleworth said:'We already could destroy your data, but we didnt. So why don't you want to see some ads for humanity sakes?'. Sound scary. –  IWantToBelieve Jan 6 '13 at 19:10
    
@IWantToBelieve Don’t mix these two things up like the EFF did. He didn’t meant that. –  Fitoschido Jan 6 '13 at 19:12
    
@lub There are also community Ubuntu developers and maintainers, who wouldn’t want to “destroy” Ubuntu. Why people always think Ubuntu is an entire Canonical thing? –  Fitoschido Jan 6 '13 at 19:17
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You do trust us with your data already.

What they mean with this is that it would be very very very to do something you do not want them to.

All they need to do is have the update software ask for your sudo password and Canonical can do anything with your system: delete system files, copy your documents over to a cloud server, delete your bookmarks etc etc.

Obviously they are not going to do that since it would also end Ubuntu as an OS (imagine the slack they will get from Richard Stallman :D ).

The EFF does have a point though. The way it is setup is not about our privacy but about making a profit for Canonical and/or Aamazon. The way it is set up now is "anyone who does not want this can remove it" (opt-out). But privacy would be better guarded if it would be "if you want it you can turn it on with this action" (opt-in).

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Your first and primary question is asking if one can completely stop all the data leaks written about there. Like the second part of your question (which has been addressed in other answers here), this first question is practical and answerable. Furthermore, it's answered on that page.

  • This is similar to but not quite the same as that question, which is about how to prevent results from appearing. Here, the focus is on options for the user to enhance privacy surrounding Amazon search results, so a wider variety of solutions are presented.

That EFF page is licensed under CC-BY 3.0; its content can be cited and reproduced here as CC-BY-SA 3.0. In case it goes away...

How to Disable Amazon Ads and Data Leaks

You can uninstall Dash's Amazon integration by removing the package called unity-lens-shopping from your computer. If you are currently using Ubuntu 12.10. you can click here to open unity-lens-shopping in Ubuntu Software Center, and then click the "Remove" button on the right. You can also uninstall it by opening the Terminal app and typing:

sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping

If you want Dash to only search your local computer and not search the Internet at all, you can open the Privacy app and switch "Include online search results" from on to off, as pictured below.

enter image description here

Finally, if you don't like the direction that Unity is going but you still like the Ubuntu operating system, you can switch to a different desktop environment altogether such as GNOME 3, KDE, or Cinnamon.

You can get GNOME 3 by installing the package called gnome-shell. You can get KDE by installing the package called kde-full. And you can get Cinnamon by adding the Cinnamon PPA to your repositories and then installing the package called cinnamon. Once you have installed a new desktop environment, you can choose which one you want to use from your login screen. Click the Ubuntu logo next to your username to change your desktop environment.

enter image description here

Source: Privacy in Ubuntu 12.10: Amazon Ads and Data Leaks by Micah Lee (EFF)

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Nice, well researched. –  Tom Brossman Jan 6 '13 at 23:29
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