Ubuntu 13.04 Online Search to Send the User’s Geographical Location

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by ComputerSaysNo, Feb 5, 2013.

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  1. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    So what? Turn the feature off in privacy settings, end of story.
    Mrk
     
  3. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    Why does it need my GEO-LOCATION data? Please do tell.
     
  4. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Yeah, IMO, who cares? Your (anyone's) geographic location is no secret anyway... Your IP address gives it away, if you use a cell phone the cell towers give it away... what's the big deal?
     
  5. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Yup, IP addresses are geo-local too.
    Besides, someone will know you're in Japan.
    You and 150 million others.
    Mrk
     
  6. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    I think Canonical's objective is to create its own type of search engine. One that is tied to Ubuntu products and vice versa. From a business POV I think the objectives could be:

    1) Allow Canonical to expand its collection of information about what Ubuntu users search for. Such data could be monetized in various ways.
    2) Put Canonical in a position to affect search results, thus giving it greater power and influence in the general sense.
    3) Allow Canonical to expands its "we get a referral/affiliate fee" program.
    4) Open the door to paid listings in the search results.
    5) Give Canonical a feature which they can claim is uniquely beneficial to those who choose Ubuntu.

    Since some users may want search results to be a function of location and having location information in their database could increase the value of said database, I don't find it surprising that they intend to collect it.

    From a user experience POV, there is the possibility that searching and results could be made better. I personally question whether that will pan out. It is definitely beneficial to use a configurable, client side framework/interface for launching specific types of searches at specific sites. If, as is possible, this is done purely via client-side software and defaults are handled appropriately, no additional privacy issues are created. However, the intent here... as was/is the case with the previous variant... appears to be to place Canonical server's in the loop when people perform searches. I don't see the benefit of this. If my objective is to search site X for appliances, search site Y for mp3s, or search site Z for tech products, I would want to search those sites directly and cut out the middle man who doesn't have a need to know what I'm searching for and certainly doesn't need to be getting any referral/affiliate fees. Given the potential for dynamic pricing, I would be smart enough not to search those sites while being logged in or having a site-specific ID cookie. I periodically change IP Address and if I wanted further protection against IP Address based tracking I could take additional steps. Which is to say, I question the benefits of "hiding" behind a "Canonical search proxy" particularly when you are going to break out of it when visiting results pages and there existing solutions for such problems.

    I use a home-brewed, purely client-side solution for launching searches and one of the reasons I do that is to work around instances where search engines try to be "helpful" and get in the way. Will the Canonical server driven contributions to results/ranking improve upon that the results/ranking that can be achieved via existing search engines (general purpose as well as site specific)? I find it hard to overlook the mentality they demonstrated when they they rolled out the previous privacy-reducing change to dash searches on an opt-out basis. I find some of the wording in that spec (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SmartScopes1304Spec) confusing and it isn't clear to me if they intend to remain pushy or correct things to be more user respectful. It will be interesting to read reviews, if there are any from clueful people, once the new features/mechanisms are fully up and running.
     
  7. Wroll

    Wroll Registered Member

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    Because people like different things and they want to serve you relevant stuff.

    I'll never understand why Canonical entered this business instead of trying the hardware market.
     
  8. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    Ads tailored to your location.
     
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