How safe is UT from trackers?
I am currently using Android, that I would like to escape from due to trackers.
I know that internet trackers can be divided into:
-www trackers - they send an information to a website about me visiting a specific place
-app trackers - they send an information to a specific company about app being used on a specific phone
-OS trackers (?) - its DNS are forwarded through google.
On the other hand - there is Ubuntu Touch!
- Is my "trackers" clasification more or less correct?
- Is Ubuntu Touch is safer from trackers and if yes - how?
poVoq last edited by poVoq
"www trackers" still mostly happen, but UT has an optional systemwide ad-blocker so that prevents some.
"app trackers" could also happen, but since nearly all of the available apps are open-source and community developed, it is not really the case so far. Apps are also confined and with a permission model, so they can't do much outside of their sandbox (similar to Android).
"OS trackers", well it isn't made by Google and unless you configure the calendar syncing with Google there seem to be no such build in trackers (other that some basic usage statistics collected by the Ubports foundation).
All informations seem very useful!
@ubuntutouchfan I think the best option to avoid 'www trackers' on smartphones at the moment is FireFox for mobile, which offers a lot of security settings and of course is fully open source. So while Ubuntu Touch/Morph browser is by no means bad, Android or iOS with FireFox might have a slight edge still.
I should mention I know nothing about more advanced security measures - you could probably just use Tor and sleep easily.
I find the lack of tracker blocking out of the box concerning with Ubuntu Touch. I feel like I can trust the OS itself, but that I can't trust the Morph browser to keep me protected and by extension I can hardly trust any of the web apps.
I know there is the uAdBlock app, but it doesn't seem to have much affect as I still get lots of ads when I'm browsing the web (and so I assume that I'm getting tracked as well).
I think this is a serious issue and for an OS that markets itself as private and allowing you to "regain control of your device and personal data" it's quite bad. Yes, the OS itself seems very secure, but with Morph and the web apps being the way they currently are, I almost feel like I am more susceptible to some tracking than I am on LineageOS. At Least with that I can install a browser that has tracker blocking built in.
I really hope that this is something that can be sorted out soon.
AppLee last edited by
I don't think tracking is an issue and a responsibility of the OS.
As user you can act by choosing what online services you use.
Some plugins like on firefox can be nice to have sure, but it is not needed IMHO.
You talk about ads and tracking those are linked but very different.
If you want to block ads, yes uAdBlock is a solution (far from perfect, but good enough). About tracking... there is nothing you can do.
One cannot prevent any website to sell data they collected on you to a third party. But one can choose the website visited.
IP address is required on internet and so it can be used to track people behind the machine behind the address...
Note : I don't try to influence you I'm just giving you my opinion about this topic.
thilov last edited by thilov
@thilov I've given that a go! I quite like it, but I feel that like uAdBlock it needs a bit more time to be perfect.
That said, any problems I have could be due to the build for my phone still being in development.
I realise my initial comment could have come across as being accusatory towards UBports, I would just like to clarify that I don't think it is the responsibility of an OS to completely protect it's user from 3rd party trackers, that would be a logistical nightmare if it were even possible.
My position comes more from someone who is interested in Ubuntu Touch not only because it's a cool looking OS and that I like Linux, but as someone who wants to find a more private mobile OS, with the best thing I can use at the moment to achieve that goal being LineageOS (which is nice, but I would like to use something far less connected with Google by using something that isn't Android). Now I know I could opt for a feature phone, but I want a proper smartphone for the features it has. I know that some people see tracking in that sense as an inevitability, but I am someone who genuinely believes that you CAN have your cake and eat it.
(Also, usually someone brings up iPhones. I have a list as long as my arm as to why I hate Apple and will not use their phones, even if they are more private than an OEM Android ROM, which I don't use anyway).
I know that ads and trackers aren't always the same thing, and that if I don't see an ad that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm not being tracked. I just find them to be an easy way of gauging the potential level of tracking when I'm using a website. I know that even with good tracker blocking that there is still the possibility that some trackers have gotten through, I think it would be naive to think otherwise.
That all said, I do believe that trackers are a huge problem currently facing the tech world. I can see your argument about picking and choosing which websites to go to, and I'm not blind to the fact that I'm slightly hypocritical saying I take issue with tracking, but will happily watch YouTube. However, there are a lot of times where one can accidentally fall into a site that uses trackers without knowing that they are being tracked. For example, if I look up pictures of a car, find said picture and then go to the site to learn more, I could have easily stumbled onto a site which has now planted a tracker on me (usually a Google or Facebook tracker). THAT is why I believe that it is imperative for UBports to bring tracker blocking to the Morph browser (which should hopefully add it to all of the web apps, correct me if I'm wrong there).
With the web being how it is in the current day, I believe that ad/tracker blocking or the ability to have an extension made to do it for a browser is a necessity, a feature that should be included as standard. So, I'm hoping that soon this feature will become available for Morph, or when Anbox or Libertine begin to work on my phone, I will try an alternative browser like Firefox or Midori (and then hopefully create web apps through those browsers).
Once again, I would like to have my cake and eat it. I believe I have been able to achieve this for the most part with desktop GNU/Linux, I'm now hoping that the same can be achieved through mobile Linux OSs such as Ubuntu Touch.
Or I could just be wearing a tin foil hat...
Sorry for the essay lol