Richard Stallman calls Ubuntu “spyware” because it tracks searches

Free Software Foundation President Richard Stallman today called Ubuntu Linux “spyware” because the operating system sends data to Ubuntu maker Canonical when a user searches the desktop.

But his complaint is already falling on deaf ears—Canonical said today that it plans to increase use of the feature Stallman objects to in order to deliver expanded Internet search results in the next version of Ubuntu.

In Ubuntu 12.10, searching the Dash (the hub for finding stuff in the Unity desktop interface) for files and applications returns not only results from a user’s desktop but also Amazon shopping results, as we reported in September before the operating system’s release. If a user buys something from Amazon as a result, money is sent to Canonical in the form of affiliate payments.

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