Gnome Project Releases New Telemetry Data Collection Tool

Aug 29, 2022

The GNOME developers have announced the release of a new tool to collect anonymous information about your system.

Although telemetry (the collection of data and measurements for the purpose of monitoring) is a rather touchy subject, especially for those who value their privacy), the GNOME foundation has announced it will be adding a telemetry data collection tool to the desktop environment.

Before anyone panics, this data will be 100% anonymous and will be used only to improve the GNOME desktop environment by informing various decisions for the future of the software. Those decisions will help to inform the GNOME Foundation where resources should be best used and how to better help users.

The new tool is a command, gnome-info-collect, and will present all collected data to the user before it’s transmitted. Once you run the command, you will be asked to okay the transmission of the information and, upon successful transmission, you’ll be thanked for helping to improve GNOME.

Types of information that will be collected include such bits as operation system, hardware vendor, flatpack/flathub enabled, installed apps, file sharing (active/inactive), remote desktop (active/inactive), remote login (active/inactive), number of users, default browser, and enabled extensions. There is zero locale information or anything that could be considered sensitive transmitted to the GNOME developers.

You can install the tool with the help of snap, dnf, pacman, or zypper.

For more information, check out the official GitLab page for the project.

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