Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Re: More diagnostics data from desktop


On 02/14/2018 04:22 PM, Will Cooke wrote:
> Dear all,
> We want to be able to focus our engineering efforts on the things that
> matter most to our users, and in order to do that we need to get some
> more data about sort of setups our users have and which software they
> are running on it.
> We would like to add a checkbox to the installer, exact wording TBD, but
> along the lines of "Send diagnostics information to help improve
> Ubuntu".  This would be checked by default.

Please make this an opt-in rather than an opt-out. This just smells like
a trend towards a Windows/Android installation where you have to unset
gazillions of check boxes to prevent the machine from posting your life
to the vendor. We shouldn't go there.

> The result of having that box checked would be:
> * Information from the installation would be sent over HTTPS to a
> service run by Canonical's IS team.  This would be saved to disk and
> sent on first boot once there is a network connection.

So sent only once or after every reboot?

> The file
> containing this data would be available for the user to inspect.
> That data would include:
>    * Ubuntu Flavour
>    * Ubuntu Version
>    * Network connectivity or not
>    * CPU family
>    * RAM
>    * 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
> * Popcon would be installed.  This will allow us to spot trends in
> package usage and help us to  focus on the packages which are of most
> value to our users.

Are you saying that popcon is automatically installed and enabled? I
haven't performed an Ubuntu install lately but isn't there an install
question asking whether to enable popcon or not (with the default being
no). Or is that Debian?

> * Apport would be configured to automatically send anonymous crash
> reports without user interruption.

I hope this will be clearly articulated during install time.

> The results of this data would be made public.

Same here. People need to know that their data is publicly (yet
anonymously) visible.

> E.g. People would be
> able to see that X% of Ubuntu users are based in .de vs Y% in .za.  Z%
> of our users run Dell hardware, and so on.
> The Ubuntu privacy policy would be updated to reflect this change.
> Any user can simply opt out by unchecking the box, which triggers one
> simple POST stating, "diagnostics=false".

Why does this require a POST (over the network)?

> There will be a corresponding
> checkbox in the Privacy panel of GNOME Settings to toggle the state of this.
> And to reiterate, the service which stores this data would *never* store
> IP addresses.
> We value your feedback and comments!

I don't believe that sending data by default is 'a thing that matters
most to our users'. Quite the opposite in fact. MS was/is getting a lot
of heat for their data collection and we shouldn't go down that very
same route by making data gathering the default.


> Cheers, Will
> On behalf of the Ubuntu Desktop Team