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Re: Smolt and software information



On Nov 9, 2007 8:53 PM, Andrew Bartlett <abartlet samba org> wrote:
> The more we move into tracking software, the more I'm concerned about
> smolt.  I've chosen to participate so far, because I would like my
> hardware supported better, but for software you risk disclosing things
> people perhaps didn't want public like:
>
>  - Do I run patented codecs?
>  - Do I run a proprietary kernel module?
>  - Do I run software I would rather not let others know I run?

The client isn't set up to do so yet, but if you wanted, it's possible
to exclude a certain hardware item, because you don't want it revealed
that you use a proprietary driver.  We don't record the other bits of
information.  This has also been heavily discussed.  I hate to think
that every time I ask honest questions about privacy, people suddenly
think smolt is some evil thing because it has inherent privacy
questions.  This is why I post questions all the time.

> Part of the problem is that the data isn't just sent in terms of a UUID.
> Even if not stored, the transmission of the smolt info contains a lot of
> personally identifiable information, such as IP addresses, which can be
> back-analysed to an identity, and tracked as the UUID remains constant,
> but a reported IP moves around the globe...

This I think is the number one concern.  Smolt does not store any IP
related information in it's database.  The source code is available as
it is open source.  The server that accepts the incoming data does
receive an IP address, and that is infact unavoidable.  We encourage
you to use Tor or other privacy tools if you have a *real* problem.
Our privacy policy states that we don't collect any IP information,
and any identifying information aside from the UUID is entirely
voluntary.

smolts.org AFAIK is hosted in the US.  Personally I'm worried that the
Patriot Act and friends will require us to maintain IP logs on the
caching server that is the part that most people interact with when
they actually interact with Smolt.  When that happens, we are, and
pardon my french here, screwed.  Since IANAL, there is really little I
can say about the privacy issues, although I would personally look at
international hosting.

So when you don't mention any objections to storage of filesystem type
used, that means I have your +0 vote on that issue? ;-P

-Yaakov


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