EFF calls Ubuntu's Amazon search result feature a "major privacy problem"

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by ronjor, Oct 30, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Posts:
    57,773
    Location:
    Texas
    http://arstechnica.com/security/201...-search-result-feature-major-privacy-problem/
     
  2. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Posts:
    2,016
    Location:
    North America
    I must be missing something here because I don't see what Amazon has to do with anything related to local files and documents. What exactly is the point of this beyond a really weird way for Ubuntu to say "We're ad-supported now"? I can't say much about the IP address issue, because Google already has been doing this for years and doesn't hide it whatsoever. I don't know, Ubuntu has been going in a strange direction for some time now in my own opinion. I just don't "get" this.
     
  3. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Posts:
    9,148
    Ridiculous hype. Stop typing in your credit card number and sexually deviant fetishes into the damn Dash wtf why are you doing that. Bam. Problem solved.
     
  4. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Posts:
    2,016
    Location:
    North America
    Point well taken, but it doesn't really answer what the thing is even doing there to begin with unless, as I mentioned, it's a way for Ubuntu to proclaim it is supported by ads now. Plus, this is for local files. So why the hell is it being sent to Amazon to begin with? If I search on the Internet, I expect other people or companies are bound to get their beady eyes on my data. Such is online life. But searching my own system? I'm not buying that as over-hyped. You can turn it all off thanks to the new privacy settings in Ubuntu, which is wonderful. However, I question their judgement in having even thought about doing all this.
     
  5. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Posts:
    9,148
    If I type in "harry potter" into my Dash maybe I'm looking for harrypotter.txt or maybe I'm trying to search Amazon for the book Harry Potter.

    That's why it's there - becuase maybe I actually want to buy HP from Amazon.

    Amazon is not seeing "harrypotter.txt" they're just seeing you type in "harry potter" so unless you're also typing in really personal **** for some stupid ass reason (why are you name file names personal information?) absolutely nothing that goes to Amazon should matter.

    And yaeh, if for whatever reason you have an issue... disable it. Ubuntu's privacy settings are great.
     
  6. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Posts:
    2,016
    Location:
    North America
    It just seems a strange move for them to have made. It was bound to have caused a ruckus. It could have easily been avoided. After all, if one wishes to search Amazon, it can be done through the website itself or by using Google and specifying the search terms. It can also be done by using the built in Amazon engine in Firefox. They really didn't need to cause themselves unnecessary grief.
     
  7. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Posts:
    1,425
    Sorry but this just wrong, they are also asking for donations....Please, what a waste of a good OS. Just money hungry sell out's.
     
  8. Mman79

    Mman79 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Posts:
    2,016
    Location:
    North America
    I don't see them asking for donations as a terrible thing. That's rather standard in the, you know, almost 100% free world of Linux. Canonical is not your standard Linux distro provider, but them asking for donations is hardly wrong.
     
  9. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Posts:
    1,984
    Location:
    Canada
    If the donations contribute to improving upon its development, I'm all for it and have already contributed a token amount.
     
  10. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Posts:
    1,425
    Come on don't support this Amazon rubbish + Donations. Get real Cannonical.`
     
  11. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Posts:
    2,136

    So have I and by exclusively using Ubuntu and its variants in my organization, I have been able to deploy it to around 12000+ PCs in matter of eight months. I have nothing to hide from Amazon as long as its not my bank account number.
     
  12. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Posts:
    2,136

    When Red Hat does that and makes billions, its fine but Canonical can't. Currently the Ubuntu server package is a far superior product than RH's offering and its easy to deploy and runs reliably. Why wouldn't I consider paying. If we keep leeching off the system, LINUX will collapse, at least desktop LINUX will and very soon. By exposure today, Ubuntu has managed to gain the attention of mainstream and now drivers are coming slowly and steadily thanks to their efforts. I don't mind proprietary drivers as long as they keep making things work.
     
  13. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Posts:
    9,148
    How can people hate on them asking ofr donations? I understand falling for media hype about this Amazon thing... but donations? Really?

    Ask yourself what *exactly* is a privacy violation about the Amazon/ Dash feature - really ask yourself what you type into the Dash.
     
  14. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Posts:
    2,331
    Location:
    West Yorkshire, UK
    I have code that I work on, on my machine that I work on under an NDA. I am not even allowed to disclose the name of the project, which means I can't even type the name of the project to open it. Yes I know that Canoncial won't have a clue what <project name> is but its in my terms of employment that I can't publically talk about any project until its officially announced.

    If you have information on others (e.g. as a business ) there is a real legal data protection issue (based on UK laws) with search queries containing their info being disclosed to ANY third party without their consent, no matter how it is used.

    What if you are searching for something seemingly innocent and pornographic results are returned ? Google has safe search options for example to atleast help mitigate this. IMHO does not promote a good family friendly image.

    Atleast its easily to uninstall :)
     
  15. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Posts:
    2,331
    Location:
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Why not ?
    How do you think the development of Linux Kernel is funded ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  16. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Posts:
    9,148
    @Nick Rhodes,

    Yes, I've heard of situations like this before although specifically legal situations ie: "Divorce Settlement LastName" and in a very fringe case like that I can see this as an issue. I honestly think it's very rare that sensitive information is ever held in file names but it's definitely a possibility, all I'm saying is that this is not common.

    But for the absolute vast majority of users this will simply not be an issue. And for the minority that it is... there's an opt out feature. It's not hidden - they make it clear what's going on.

    Also you won't get unsafe results back. They fixed that bug before release.
     
  17. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Posts:
    1,984
    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah I’ve actually migrated to Xubuntu xfce 12.10 because it runs like a dream on my older hardware, even though Ubuntu was decent. As for the Amazon search inclusion it seems, from the bit of info I've read, easy enough to avoid anyway, so I don't see what all the fuss is about.
     
  18. Fox Mulder

    Fox Mulder Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Posts:
    203
    I think the EFF is making a big deal out of this for a couple legitimate reasons. The obvious reason (potentially personal data being leaked) aside, we do live on a slippery slope. If this is acceptable, it will be used as the justification for more intrusive advertisements later. More ads, more money.

    The second reason is that GNU/Linux is expected to be more privacy-respecting than other operating systems. In fact, the freedom and privacy of GNU/Linux is one of the big selling points of the system. So when a major GNU/Linux distribution decides to do something like this, it makes way more of a splash than Apple or Microsoft doing the same thing.
     
  19. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Posts:
    2,136

    All the netbooks, old P-IV with 512MB RAM and Athlon x2 run Xubuntu which is indeed a lifesaver.
     
  20. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Posts:
    1,984
    Location:
    Canada
    Mine's a really decent - for its time - AMD dual core with dual nVidia 7900 GTX GPU's gaming rig, but I don't need the fancy effects so I find xubuntu runs blazing fast and stable. Amazing really. It offers essentially everything Ubuntu offers and fills my fairly basic needs admirably. I set up UFW with outbound restricted ports, and apparmored (I'm hooked on apparmor :) ) Chrome, Thunderbird, Transmission and Libreoffce :thumb:
     
  21. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Posts:
    2,136
    Do you have apparmor profiles for Chrome? Have you enabled the extra profiles provided in the repo?
     
  22. fblais

    fblais Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Posts:
    839
    Location:
    Québec, Canada
    Seems the thread topic is drifting now...
     
  23. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,698
    They always do. No matter what the topic is, someone will discuss some sandbox thingie or other security my vs. yours. That's the Wilders equivalent of the Godwin's Law.
    Mrk
     
  24. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Posts:
    1,984
    Location:
    Canada
    Yes, Chrome and its sandbox as well along with java, and the others from the repo.

    Sorry for drifting ot.
     
  25. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Posts:
    2,136

    Can you share your profiles for chrome if possible?
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.