In light of the FUD over the Unity Shopping Lens package that has landed in Quantal there were also some legitimate security and privacy concerns surrounding this new innovative feature that I think will be very useful to many Ubuntu Users.
I had an opportunity to exchange a e-mail with Mark Shuttleworth late last night who put me in touch with Canonical’s Legal Team who is now looking into what changes they will need to introduce to cover how search data is collected and handled when it reaches http://productsearch.ubuntu.com (ultimately SSL will land soon).
I do honestly think that shopping results will be a great feature but I do not think the work is done and this lens needs polishing which it will surely get from the Unity Team. Think how much time can be saved if you could search for products relevant to you and compare prices from a number of online retailers and find the best price all while supporting Ubuntu?
There has been a lot of concern since this conversation started over the weekend and much of it is sensational at best but I think the real important and productive discussion is occurring on Ubuntu IRC and our mailing lists where the Community, Developers and Canonical are working hard to make sure users have great Quetzal in the coming weeks. If for whatever reason you do not want the Unity Shopping Lens you can remove it by running “sudo apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping” in Terminal.
Remember you can be a partner in the discussion and development of Ubuntu by joining the Community.
Stay Calm and Download Ubuntu!
Update 9/25/12 4:38PM: I have drawn up a Technical Diagram of How I understand the Shopping Lens to work.