Richard Stallman says Ubuntu Linux is 'spyware'

Richard Stallman has asked a South American free software association not to promote Ubuntu Linux at its events because it "spies on its users" by collecting its users' desktop search activity and selling the data to Amazon.

Canonical released Ubuntu 12.10 last October with Amazon search integrated into its Dash desktop search function.

Although Ubuntu users can opt out and Canonical claims it anonymises users' search information before sending it to Amazon, the change resulted in Ubuntu users being shown Amazon ads in response to desktop search queries. The 'feature' has attracted a lot of criticism and might have led some users to defect to other Linux distributions.