Why I hate Ubuntu: Reason #14

You know how when you search for something within a search engine and the first results are adverts (sponsored links) ?

Now, you can get that feature right in your desktop environment ! Indeed Ubuntu has now added this thing, when you search for a program through the "lens" you get software results and right below "More Suggestions" which are products from your local Amazon online store.

Ubuntu and its followers defend this stating that Ubuntu needs to be funded somehow. It's a strange point of view that users of free email might understand as they already accept to have advertisements on their personal email pages (webmail). However I think both are perverse, we already are subject to so much consumer propaganda in public spaces as it is.

If Ubuntu is really in lack of money, they could have easily obtained funds by asking their users to donate. They already do that I heard, but I couldn't find where. Just put the link near the download link, or on the home page, or at least in the main menu. Offer services, like support, I don't know, maybe they should start a kickstarter page. Instead it looks like they are going in the direction of ChromeOS. I'll even predict that the next Ubuntu will be a just boot loader with the whole OS on their cloud.

Oh, I almost forgot, this probably means that whatever you type in the "Lens" thing is sent to Amazon.com with your IP (see update below).

Update: There is even a bug report about this. It seems the user's queries are not sent to Amazon directly but are sent to Ubuntu, the Ubuntu user's computer then gets a JSON formatted reply. That reply contains links to product informations and remote images that the user's computer will then request directly from Amazon.

This what a search like "games" looks like.

Mark Shuttleworth's honest response should make any Ubuntu user worried:

Why are you telling Amazon what I am searching for?

We are not telling Amazon what you are searching for. Your anonymity is preserved because we handle the query on your behalf. Don’t trust us? Erm, we have root. You do trust us with your data already.

No mister Shuttleworth, I don't trust you with my data, and this is just one of the reasons why.

Update 2: And so the bug reports are coming in, here are just a few.

Update 3: A post from the Free Software Foundation on Ubuntu, by RMS: Ubuntu Spyware: What to Do?

Update 4: The Ubuntu/Amazon parody logo is now under CC-BY-NC CC-BY-SA license thanks to Richard Stallman.