Ubuntu wants to collect more diagnostic data
Canonical's Will Cooke revealed in an email to the Ubuntu development list that the company plans to collect more diagnostic data from desktop.
Many programs and operating systems collect diagnostic data. While the degree varies from program to program, it is fair to say that diagnostic data may provide developers with insights into issues and feature popularity.
Canonical wants to collect data such as the Ubuntu version, hardware information and selected location during installation to "focus our engineering efforts on the things that matter most to our users".
Cooke revealed what the data that Canonical plans to collect would include:
- Ubuntu Flavour
- Ubuntu Version
- Network connectivity or not
- CPU family
- Disk(s) size
- Screen(s) resolution
- GPU vendor and model
- OEM Manufacturer
- Location (based on the location selection made by the user at install). No IP information would be gathered
- Installation duration (time taken)
- Auto login enabled or not
- Disk layout selected
- Third party software selected or not
- Download updates during install or not
- LivePatch enabled or not
The company won't collect or store user IP addresses but wants to use Popcon and Apport. Popcon collects data on package use and Apport will be configured to send anonymous crash reports. All data is sent over HTTPS and aggregate information is made available publicly so that anyone may look them up.
This would reveal the number of Ubuntu users on AMD or Intel hardware, or how many users select Germany or China as the location.
Cooke notes that the data collecting will be opt-out, but that users can uncheck a box during installation or in the Gnome privacy settings to turn the collecting off.
Any user can simply opt out by unchecking the box, which triggers one simple POST stating, â€œdiagnostics=falseâ€. There will be a corresponding checkbox in the Privacy panel of GNOME Settings to toggle the state of this.
Canonical, at least at this stage, does not want to collect as much data as Microsoft does on Windows 10. That's a good thing, and it is even better that the company plans to display an opt-out choice to users during installation and in the privacy settings. While some privacy advocates might have liked an opt-in choice better, giving users an option at all is something that is not self-evident anymore in this day and age.
Now You: What's your take on this? (via Bleeping Computer)