Ubuntu jumps the shark; sends local search results to Amazon.com by default.

Discussion in 'Politics & Ethics of Technology' started by Grall, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Ars Technica has a writeup about it: http://arstechnica.com/security/201...ajor-privacy-problem/?comments=1#comments-bar

    I'm super surprised the ubuntu people would ever think this was a good idea, considering the independent nature of many linux users. Also, how likely is it that you'd buy something from amazon when what you really wanted was a local file on your own computer? Very strange logic there, I must say.

    I can only assume they rationalize it by suggesting that people might find it convenient to browse amazon from one single search box, but it's still just a terrible, terrible idea.
     
  2. dZeus

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    This is an example of how private/user data will be monetized as much as possible in the future.

    Google already has a business concept around it with their gmail and google search offerings, (i.e. by profiling users and generating targeted ads).
    Facebook and linked-in do similar things. Apple has tried the same (and is trying again?), Amazon does similar stuff on their Kindle devices afaik.

    Basically, any private data that is stored by a software vendor (e.g. cloud storage) or passes service companies (e.g. Deep Packet Inspection and on a less intrusive level your usage of a resolving DNS server provided by your internet provider) will be monetized in future.

    Why? Because they can earn an extra buck, and consumers are not aware of the implications of handing over private data to these companies, and it makes their lives convenient (the monetization is required to pay for the free gmai account, etc.). Only government regulation prohibiting access of customer's data will stop it. But what if governments like the technology behind this drive for monetization, as it allows them easy access for purposes of supervision/crime fighting?

    People who trade privacy for convenience by using Google, Ubuntu, cloud storage, etc. without demanding the companies providing these services to abide to very strict privacy protection laws, will in the end lose all their privacy and end up living in a totalitarian state.

    Advanced facial recognition from photos and video feeds (CCTV), proper audio recognition and all user data stored or passed through a centrally accessible network/servers (ie. the internet) would have been the Stasi's wet dream. Technologically, we're almost there...
     
  3. Blazkowicz

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    I clicked an ad on a newspaper's website, and during the same minute received an e-mail about the same offer, though I wasn't logged in to the site.
    The ad provider is a 3rd party, but it knew my e-mail address. So I must have registered somewhere and the info was sent to them (a database called "TouslesPrivil├ęges"). The e-mail greeted my with my first name in subject and body. They must have my IP address, it's a dynamically-allocated-but-never-changes-anyway IP.

    I don't use facebook, though I have an empty placeholder account, and Google believes I'm called "Hermann" (I tried to delete the name, but couldn't. At least Google doesn't nag me anymore :D)
     
  4. dZeus

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    Hermann...

    within a couple of years Google might try to put 1 and 1 together and decide that as a Frenchman (named Armand) fostering his Germanic roots, you've chosen that name because of Arminius and the Teutoburger Wald.

    You'll definitely get some weird targeted advertisement from that day onwards...
     
    #4 dZeus, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2012
  5. kache

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    I am using a russian name and surname on all my online endeavours, even if I'm Italian. Will be fun in the future to see what ads I'll see... :D
     
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