Ubuntu One Terms and Conditions

  Simsy 09:03 17 Feb 11
Locked

Folks,

If you install Linux Ubuntu you have access to the "Ubuntu One" service, which, as I understand it, is basically an online storage/sync area for files. You get 2Gig of space free, (and may pay for more)...

I was thinking of signing up as a means of getting/sharing some pics with my son, who is away travelling for a year... the idea being that he could uploasd to the space, I could download them and he could free up the limited storage he has on his netbook, (only 12 Gig ssd)...

The Terms and Conditions, click here ), mean agreeing to the following;

"Collection and use of your data.
We may collect certain non-personally-identifiable information, which is located on your computer. The information collected may include statistics relating to how often data is transferred, and performance metrics in relation to software and configuration. You agree this information may be retained and used by Canonical. Canonical may disclose any or all personal data and contents you have sent, posted or published if required to comply with applicable law or the order or requirement of a court, administrative agency or other governmental body. All other use of your personal data is subject to the Ubuntu One privacy policy."

While I'm not suggestign that the folk who run this are up to anything awry, it strikes me that, as written, it's a bit brutal in what it claims access to...

It's the use of he would "may", and the way it's written, that I'm a little uncomfortable with... The implication, (I'm not suggesting the intent!), is that you are agreeign that ANYTHING non personally identifiable may be collected by them.

Surely this could be written a bit better, to more accurately specify what they will/may collect?

Am I overdoing it? What do others think?

Regards,

Simsy

  dms_05 10:54 17 Feb 11

I think Canonical is protecting itself against legal/regulatory conditions that may compel them to divulge information. Nothing more than that. It's actually quite a simple statement that leaves you in no doubt. If you aren't using their system for anything illegal then you should have nothing to fear but others might want to use the storage exactly as you want but for illegal purposes (file sharing of copyright material for example or even terrorist data transfer).

  Simsy 11:04 17 Feb 11

but I can see why.. I was possibly a little ambiguous...

It wasn't them passing the data to other bodies that raised my concern, but, rather, the fact they may collect ANY info from my computer.

Regards,

Simsy

  dms_05 13:14 17 Feb 11

"We may collect certain non-personally-identifiable information"

  Simsy 14:05 17 Feb 11

The use of the word "certain" suggests that they know what they'll collect... but they don't specify it.

To be devils advocate somewhat, it seems to me that they may collect, for example, .jpg files from my pictures folder. Or Word documents containing my plans to rule the world! These would be, "non-personally-identifiable information, which is located on your computer."

Now I'm not suggesting that they would, but why can they not specify what they will collect.. They must know what they need for "statistics relating to how often data is transferred, and performance metrics in relation to software and configuration"

Regards,

Simsy

  wiz-king 14:14 17 Feb 11

Perhaps they want to do licencing like Microsoft and tie it to the hard-drive/motherboard then they can charge you for it.

  LastChip 14:22 17 Feb 11

Under the legal system they operate, they are required to keep all data for a specified time. Any authority that has the required permission may request to see it.

Unfortunately, this is a direct result of terrorism and those of us who think it's all gone too far, could believe, it's big brother at work and can be used for nay number of other reasons.

The bottom line is, if you don't want personal data accessible, don't share it on-line *anywhere*.

Ubuntu is not unique in this respect.

  GaT7 14:24 17 Feb 11

"I was thinking of signing up as a means of getting/sharing some pics with my son, who is away travelling for a year... the idea being that he could uploasd to the space, I could download them and he could free up the limited storage he has on his netbook, (only 12 Gig ssd)..."

Possible alternatives:

Apart from Ubuntu One, there are various other similar free services to can use - for instance Windows Live SkyDrive click here or Dropbox click here. More similar ones reviewed by PCA click here.

But if these are also potentially privacy-stealing, just encrypt the shared pics, using something like the free TrueCrypt click here. This will ensure your pics/files remain completely private, & only your son will be able to open the TrueCrypt encrypted containers as you'll be sharing their passwords with him alone. Any sensitive files/data I store on online sites are encrypted in this way. G

  MAJ 14:31 17 Feb 11

I completely agree with your reservations. Online storage is no longer needed in order to do what you want, there are other ways of achieving your goal, file transfer through something like Teamviewer click here for example.

  Simsy 17:23 17 Feb 11

I'm aware of other options... We are in fact using Dropbox.

I just wondered how many other folk felt the same as me about the terms.

I'm sure they, (the ubuntu mob), mean nothing untoward... just like to see somethig a bit clearer in the conditions.

Regards,

Simsy

  Simsy 17:25 17 Feb 11

You've missed the point... encrypting files I put up there isn't the issue... it's the other files on "my computer" that is... They just need to say what they are!

Regards,

Simsy

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