Reviewed October 6th, 2020
software
privacy guide
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Canonical Ltd. 🔗
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Ubuntu

Canonical Ltd.
9/10

Summary

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that is reliable, user-friendly, and can be run on desktops, servers, and IoT devices. Ubuntu uses the default GNOME desktop environment, but other desktop environments can be used as well. The operating system can be downloaded for free from Canonical's website.

Breach History


Has there ever been a breach or data leak?

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Date of last breach

July 2013


The Ubuntu Forum was hacked in 2013, which resulted in the leaking of usernames, passwords, and email addresses from all 1.82 million forum users. However, the hack did not affect Ubuntu itself.

Privacy Checklist

Does it meet our minimum privacy standards?

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

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

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

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

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Does it have parental controls?

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

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Does it get regular software and / or firmware updates?

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Does it require you to create a strong password?

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Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?

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Does it have a privacy policy?

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How Can It Snoop?

What sensitive hardware access requirements does it have?

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

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

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

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Account Requirements

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

Does it require an email address to use?

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Does it require a phone number to use?

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

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Payment Options

What payment methods are available?

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

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

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Are you able to use PayPal as a payment option?

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

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What Could Go Wrong?

What's the worst case scenario for your data?

Personal information is only collected by Canonical through the use of their website, such as by filling out forms or corresponding through phone or email. No personal information is stored otherwise, so there is virtually no risk in using this operating system.

How Does It Share Your Data?

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

Any information disclosed to Canonical will only be shared with a third party if required by law, any business assets are sold or acquired, or if Canonical itself is acquired. However, information is only collected from the Ubuntu website, not the operating system itself.

Good Things

Why should you use it?

  • Privacy-focused operating system.
  • Highly customizable.

Bad Things

What are the downsides?

  • Interface may be complex for more casual users.

Final Thoughts


It does not appear Ubuntu has suffered from any major data breaches. However, considering Canonical barely collects information from its users aside from on its forum, there would not be much information to share even if they were hacked. The Ubuntu 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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