Reviewed October 6th, 2020
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The Debian Project 🔗
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The Debian Project


Debian is a Unix-like computer operating system and Linux distribution that is composed entirely of free and open-source software. Debian can be downloaded from The Debian Project's website.

Breach History

Has there ever been a breach or data leak?


Date of last breach

November 2003

Servers belonging to The Debian Project were hacked in 2003, which compromised its bug-tracking system, mailing lists, and various web pages. However, the Debian operating system was not affected by the hack. Only your email address may have been stolen if you were subscribed to a Debian mailing list.

Privacy Checklist

Does it meet our minimum privacy standards?

Is any kind of biometric data collected (health, heart, voice, etc.)?


Are you able to delete your data / the data collected about you?


Does it use cookies, telemetry, or third-party tracking scripts?


Is the privacy policy user-friendly (easy to understand)?


Does it have parental controls?


Does it use encryption to protect your data both in-transit and at-rest?


Does it get regular software and / or firmware updates?


Does it require you to create a strong password?


Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?


Does it have a privacy policy?


How Can It Snoop?

What sensitive hardware access requirements does it have?

Does it have a camera or request / require access to a camera?


Does it have a microphone or request / require access to a microphone?


Does it track your location or request / require access to location data?


Account Requirements

What information is required to create an account or use it?

Does it require an email address to use?


Does it require a phone number to use?


Does it require an address (home or office) to use?


Payment Options

What payment methods are available?

Are you able to use a credit card as a payment option?


Are you able to use a cryptocurrency as a payment option?


Are you able to use PayPal as a payment option?


Are you able to use cash or gift cards as a payment option?


What Could Go Wrong?

What's the worst case scenario for your data?

There is no risk in using this product. Basic information is only collected by The Debian Project should you choose to contact them about a problem, but simply using the operating system requires no information.

How Does It Share Your Data?

Where is your data going? Who has access to it?

Debian does not require any personal information in order to use the operating system. However, some information may be collected if you contact the company, mainly name and email address. This information will not be shared with third parties except for very specific instances such as emails to mailing lists or interactions with the bug tracking system.

Good Things

Why should you use it?

  • Large variety of software.
  • Extensive documentation.
  • Highly customizable desktop environments.

Bad Things

What are the downsides?

  • Not entirely user-friendly.

Final Thoughts

It does not appear the Debian operating system has ever suffered from any major data breaches. However, considering The Debian Project barely collects information from its users, there would not be much information to share even if they were hacked. The Debian operating system is very secure as well, and is a great choice for those looking for a more private operating system.

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