Is Ubuntu’s New Firefox Watching You?

August 11th, 2009 | Posted in Current Events, FireFox, Internet, Linux, Opinion, Privacy, Programming, Security, Software, Tracking | 2 Comments

According to a recent Slashdot article it very well might be.  Ubuntu recently released a new extension to Firefox alpha 3 called “Multisearch”.

The first thing that I don’t like about it is that it installs automatically without any warning about potential privacy problems.  For me that’s a deal-breaker all by itself.

Another thing that gets it a thumbs down is that the article also mentioned that it has “other purposes” of collecting usage data and generating revenue.  Exactly how the “generating revenue” part works wasn’t explained that I saw but the simple fact that it’s part of the reason for the plugin is reason enough IMO to yank the sucker.

This means that the next time I start my Kubuntu (that’s Ubuntu with a KDE desktop for those who don’t know) machine, I’m going to start Firefox and go to “Tools” and “Add ons” and deactivate and / or remove that plugin.

[Tags]ubuntu, firefox, plugin, multisearch, search plugin, spyware, privacy[/tags]

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2 Responses to “Is Ubuntu’s New Firefox Watching You?”

  1. I definitely wouldn’t want any automatic installation to take place on my computer without me knowing what is being installed. That’s really a big hole that would mean a lot about privacy and transparency, and i don’t think ubuntu or even firefox should patronize that kind of work.

  2. Absolutely.  The idea of auto-installs of anything, especially something that involves privacy concerns like this is completely offensive.  It actually surprises me that the people behind Ubuntu are involved in something like this.  Normally the open-sourced Linux crowd is very much opposed to stuff like this stunt which smells more of something Microsoft or Google would pull.