[kde-community] user stats for Neon

Frederik Schwarzer schwarzer at kde.org
Sat Apr 16 05:31:17 UTC 2016



Am 16.04.2016 01:46 schrieb Albert Vaca:
> What's the problem with pinging the Neon servers? Any system already 
> does
> way more than that when checking for updates, not to mention when you
> connect to a website, or even IRC.
> 
> How can this ping be violating any privacy if we don't even need to 
> store
> the IP, just a unique ID? We can even generate the ID ourselves so it 
> can't
> be matched with other sources. I don't see how this can have any impact 
> to
> privacy nor any other use than counting people using Neon.
> 
> I don't understand this extremism and I'm sad to see it in our 
> community,
> specially when other free projects like Firefox have been collecting 
> way
> more complex analytics (opt-out) for a while with a positive impact for
> them.

When I write software to be used all over the world, I not only need to 
consider what is important to me, but what might be important to people 
in any other form of society. After that I can decide what to actually 
implement and what not. Calling concerns for privacy "extremism" does 
not help anyone. Maybe many Chinese or Turkish people feel discompfort 
if their application usage is tracked. And in my opinion, anyone should.
There is no name tag on those data, you say? Well, the name tag does not 
matter anymore these days because with "big data" you can link anonymous 
user profiles to other traces the user has left somewhere else and 
*bang* you know the identity of the user. You can read about that in 
several places:
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/347/6221/536 (paywall)
https://www.cs.utexas.edu/~shmat/shmat_oak09.pdf

A politician in Germany once got all the anonymous user data from his 
cell phone company and handed it over to a newspaper in order to show 
that data preservation or data retention actually means. The newspaper 
visualized it and it turned out it was quite obvious that in such an 
amount of data, there is no anonymity.
http://www.zeit.de/datenschutz/malte-spitz-data-retention

So, my opinion is that software should not track users more than 
necessary for it to work properly. So of cource a GPS tracker needs to 
track the user's position ... but a photo app does not, by default.
I see why companies feel a need to track users so they can streamline 
their development and all. But Free Software? Anyway, if wee feel the 
need to do it, I would vote for an opt-in solution shown in the first 
install wizard.

Regards,
Frederik



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