[Morph Browser] Explanation about Canonical in URL

  • Hello, thank you for proposing UBports, I like a lot the UI.
    However, I just have used Moph Browser and I can see that my URL requests are redirected to Canonical using &t= parameter (see below picture) :

    alt text

    I thank your team/ Canonical for bringing UT and Ubuntu in general, but in such case I feel like an invasion of my privacy. On your website, under Donate sentence, it is mentioned "Do you care about freedom of choice and privacy?".

    Unfortunately, this is not what I could experience. Now, I (maybe other users) need clear answers :

      1. Why Morph Browser allows redirections to Canonical servers ? Is it RGPD compatible ?
      1. What else is sent as a telemetry from OS/app to whatever company/organization ?
      1. Is there another browser (Firefox) please?

    Thank you for your feeback.

  • I don't understand your question.

    There is absolutely no redirection to canonical.
    The default search engine is duckduckgo and the t parameter is used to identify requests made from default engine provided by canonical. There is maybe an agreement between duckduckgo and canonical (or now UBPorts) to share ads income.

    But you can change the search engine and the default page so if you still don't like it you can use whatever you want.

    There is no violation of privacy in my opinion.

    On the other hand, I agree it's a bit strange that the link is still identified as canonical and not ubports.
    Is it part of the agreement between UBPorts and Canonical or simply that the code has not been changed ?

  • I have found the &t= parameter purpose :

    Through partnerships with developers and companies, DuckDuckGo has been integrated into many applications. In these partnerships, a portion of DuckDuckGo's advertising revenue is sometimes shared back. To assign advertising revenue and collect anonymous aggregate usage information, developers add a unique "&t=" parameter to searches made through their applications. 

    So it should have been added by developers team on purpose. So my question is still why ? And we know that "anonymous" means nothing. Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple use this term.

    I dislike the fact that asking question gives me -1 "like". I am objective, I like UBports like you, but an explanation is needed. If a member is wondering about something (with no troll), I would not give him -1 as a social warrior. I read, and answer.

  • @prog-amateur
    Perhaps you should ask the developers about this in the Q&A tomorrow... Post your question here: https://forums.ubports.com/topic/3291/q-a-62-saturday-2nd-of-november-at-19-00-utc/10

  • Thank you.
    I have moved your post to OS instead of Design as I feel is a matter of the system and not a design subject.

  • @prog-amateur I fully agree with you that there is no such thing as a bad question: if there is a question, it is because there is a questioning : not everyone has the same background, skills and analytical abilities and must be respected for this.

    In short, everything can be said and asked if we use the right words and stay short! It's a rule of life in my opinion.

  • @prog-amateur said in [Morph Browser] Explanation about Canonical in URL:

    Why Morph Browser allows redirections to Canonical servers ?

    It does not. This is merely a tag for sharing ad revenue, and probably left over from the config of the old webbrowser-app when morph replaced it. You are welcome to open an issue at https://github.com/ubports/morph-browser about canonical ad revenue ID still being used in Morph.

    @prog-amateur said in [Morph Browser] Explanation about Canonical in URL:

    What else is sent as a telemetry from OS/app to whatever company/organization ?

    There is no telemetry being sent in this case, and Canonical cannot see your search terms. It is simply a partner ID so ad revenue can be shared when you click through ads on DDG (or other search engine of your choice). There is no way for Canonical to identify you with a specific search term or ad click. All they can know is someone clicked an ad and they got $0.005 or whatever for it.

    @prog-amateur said in [Morph Browser] Explanation about Canonical in URL:

    Is there another browser (Firefox) please?

    You are welcome to port any browser you wish to being a native app on UT. However, surely you must realize that Mozilla also has ad sharing partnerships with these search engines, and you will just see t=mozilla there instead.

  • @prog-amateur I gave you the -1 "like" not because of your question, but because your imply, without knowing its purpose, that it "allows redirections to Canonical servers" coming to suspect a GDPR incompatibility and ending by asking what else (not if else)" is sent as a telemetry from OS/app to whatever company/organization". All after the initial sentence, resuming or reminding the Ubports sentence in the website about the care about freedom of choice and privacy, as it were a lie, and asking "clear answers" assuming the ubports foundation has ever in some way given unclear or ambiguous answers or/to hide the truth behind them or has reason to do so..

    so that -1 is for the chosen style and the tone of the question that I personally perceive and didn't like, not for the question. about your question, because it is a good question, this was my answer: https://github.com/ubports/morph-browser/pull/250

    ps: I'm not in any way endorsed by or affiliated with ubports and what I say may not be what ubports thinks

  • In answer to the question if there is another alternative browser - there is, and it works very well in UT - https://open-store.io/app/demobr.mateo-salta

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson

  • Hi @prog-amateur, thanks for bringing this to our attention. This was added to the browser back in 2015 by "Add t=canonical to DuckDuckGo search" and was never removed after we took over Ubuntu Touch. We do not currently have a partnership with DuckDuckGo to my knowledge, so I accepted @Aury88's PR to remove it.

    As you found, this allows DDG to assign advertisement revenue and give metrics to partners affiliated with them, to spread DDG. I don't know what metrics are shared, you would need to ask them as we don't have such a partnership.

    Your phone connects to the UBports Push Service to receive push notifications when a compatible app is installed. That should be the extent of any connections made from your device to our servers at idle, but if you find anything else please let us know.

  • Hello all, thank you very much for your feedback, and sorry for my late reply.
    I feel no offense, I was just trying to raise something I really care about : privacy. I appreciate you listen to members, and that you have removed this &t=parameter. Thank you all again.

  • Just to be clear, this leaked nothing more that what your User Agent does. So your privacy was very fine. No requests at all were sent to canonical servers.

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