Linked by Howard Fosdick on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 08:57 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Proprietary software like Windows often includes surveillance code to track user behavior and send this information to vendor servers. Linux has traditionally been immune to such privacy violation. Ubuntu 12.10 now includes code that, by default, collects data on Dash searches. The code integrates Amazon products into search results and can even integrate with Facebook, Twitter, BBC and others as per Ubuntu's Third Party Privacy Policies. This article at the EFF tells how it all works and how to opt out of information sharing, while Richard Stallman himself comments here.
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RE: unfair jab at Microsoft
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 12:21 UTC in reply to "unfair jab at Microsoft"
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

Only when you activate Windows does the Windows Activation Technology send the following information to the validation server:

•Computer make and model
•Version information for the operating system and software
•Region and language settings
•A unique number assigned to your computer by the tools (Globally Unique Identifier or GUID)
•Product Key (hashed) and Product ID
•BIOS name, revision number, and revision date
•Hard drive volume serial number (hashed)
•Whether the installation was successful if one was performed
•The result of the validation check, including error codes and information about any activation exploits and any related malicious or unauthorized software found or disabled

The above does not at all amount to surveillance code or behaviour.

Is any of that Microsoft's business? Fuck no... unless they built the machine themselves, in which case they wouldn't even need to have their OS call home to find all that information out.

sur·veil·lance:
- a watch kept over a person, group, etc., especially over a suspect, prisoner, or the like
- close and continuous observation or testing

The second is a medical definition, but I'd say they are both quite suitable for explaining what Windows does on behalf of its creator. Bottom line is, if you run Windows, Microsoft is keeping tabs on you and your computer. This has been known for years and I don't know how that can be denied with any kind of seriousness.

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