NoOp glgxg at mfire.com
Thu Mar 29 05:09:23 UTC 2007

On 03/28/2007 09:56 PM, NoOp wrote:
> On 03/28/2007 09:31 PM, Tommy Trussell wrote:
>> On 3/28/07, Jeffrey F. Bloss <jbloss at tampabay.rr.com> wrote:
>>> I'd be a lot more upset if P-C phoned home by default. I see that sort
>>> of data mining as inherently evil even when it's voluntary, so finding
>>> out Ubuntu did this surreptitiously would be something that makes me
>>> choose another distro.
>> ...
>>> > > It's in System > Administration > Software Sources, on the Statistics
>>> > > tab if you want to check. If you weren't previously aware of it it
>>> > > *should* still be disabled.
>>> > >
>>> >
>>> > In Feisty there is a tab for this, in Dapper there is not.
>>> Is there no "gooey" interface to it at all? That to me wouldn't make
>>> much sense. How many people are even aware of dpkg-reconfigure, let
>>> alone brave enough to run such a primitive command line tool? ;) Seems
>>> like they're discarding a pretty sizeable source of data...
>> Ubuntu "inherited" the package from Debian, which uses the data
>> primarily to order the packages on their CDs. (That way you get the
>> most popular packages on the first few Debian CDs and you don't have
>> to download them all to get a usable installation.)
>> I'm sure the developers COULD use the popularity information, but just
>> like in Debian, most people DON'T turn it on, so the package
>> popularity is being determined only by a small select few. Draw
>> additional political analogies, if you like. But I really doubt
>> there's much chance of any nefarious use either way.
> Perhaps nothing nefarious, but 'call-home' programs should be *clearly
> opt-in* as in the Edgy/Feisty tabs. And 'call-home' programs such as
> this should only be loaded *after* the opt-in process (perhaps updates
> is the exception).
> http://popcon.ubuntu.com/ has broken links for the readme and faq links,
> so there is nothing there that indicates how the data is used or
> anything with regard to the privacy of the participant.  Debian on the
> otherhand provides this:
> http://popcon.debian.org/
> and do have working faq & readme links:
> http://popcon.debian.org/README
> http://popcon.debian.org/FAQ
> The http://popcon.debian.org/FAQ has some rather interesting information
> regarding this 'program'.

Forgot to add; as does the README file:
SECURITY NOTE: it's impossible to make a submission completely
anonymous, since Internet servers tend to add headers and log messages
along the way. Our receiver program at debian throws away this
information as soon as possible so no one will see it, but if you're
really paranoid you might not want to participate.

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