Thursday, December 29, 2011

Zeitgeist: Spyware Delivered with Linux Mint12?

This afternoon I noticed something called zeitgeist in my top display, and was curious about what it is. I fired up the software manager, did a search for zeitgeist, and found this:

Zeitgeist is a service which logs the user's activities and events
(files opened, websites visited, conversations held with other people,
etc.) and makes the relevant information available to other

It serves as a comprehensive activity log and also makes it possible to
determine relationships between items based on usage patterns.

This metapackage depends on the Zeitgeist engine and a set of packages
(such as data providers) commonly used together with it.

In other words, spyware, or at least a framework to make life
comfortable for spyware. I visited the web site, and nothing there
seemed to suggest the contrary. So,

apt-get remove zeitgeist libzeitgeist-1.0.1 zeitgeist-extension-fts zeitgeist-core zeitgeist-datahub

Apt also wanted to remove rhythmbox-plugins and a couple other bogus
things. I decided to go ahead and try life without rhythmbox-plugins,
assuming I can reinstall later if need be. It's a little creepy to think
someone, or even just something in my system, was tracking the music I
play and the podcasts I download.

1 comment:

teaker1s said...

As Teaker1s on unbuntu forums I posted months ago that Zeitgeist without a control panel was SPYWARE. this was rejected as unreasonable- surely the term spyware accurately fits this.

Unhappy with the situation it has been removed from my computers.