back to article Dev creeped out after he fired up Ubuntu VM on Azure, was immediately approached by Canonical sales rep

An Azure customer was outraged after finding himself on the receiving end of an unexpected LinkedIn message from Ubuntu maker Canonical last night. The user, Luca Bongiorni, had spun up an instance of the Linux distro on an Azure corporate subscription in order to evaluate some tooling. Sensibly, the subscription is used as a …

  1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

    I'd move off Azure if that happened to me (I'd need to use Azure first though, which presumably might be part of why it hasn't).

    Providing general usage statistics to Canonical makes sense:

    - 124 users installed your image today

    - 10,000 instances are running your image

    If the number of running images plummets, there may be an issue you need to look into.

    But forking over user information? Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

    1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

      Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

      The same people who think a keyboard logger is a perfectly acceptable OS feature.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      The cloud is their systems, not yours.

      Your are paying for the privilege of using someone else's system, which of course will track you.... data! data! data! sell! sell! sell!!

    3. thames

      Why do you think that Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion if it wasn't to mine your information and used it to sell products and services to you? The same goes for buying Github for $7.5 billion. Combine this with MS Azure and it gives them a huge amount of data about you which they then link together to find all the connections which you thought you had kept isolated.

      The whole point of social media is to mine your personal information, link together data from multiple sources, and use this to target you for sales and marketing efforts. If that sort of thing doesn't appeal to someone, then they shouldn't have Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter accounts.

      1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        Why do you think that Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion if it wasn't to mine your information and used it to sell products and services to you?

        Now LinkedIn prompts you to map out about who reports to whom in your company. Presumably, they want to ensure that they're whoring sharing the private info of actual Decision Makers to their premium subscribers and other "partners."

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Wouldn't Microsoft's purchase of Linkedin mean it would be blocked at every other software company?

          I can't imagine google allows it's devs to effectively tell MSFT who is logged in working late and linked with which other devs and what their backgrounds are

          1. LDS Silver badge

            "would be blocked at every other software company?"

            Because people can use it only from their company PCs? Maybe MS should also block Google, Facebook/Whatsapp/Instagram and Twitter?

            Are people keeping they LinkedIn account logged in while working really??

        2. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Now LinkedIn prompts you to map out about who reports to whom in your company.

          My company has rules about disclosing who reports to who etc. to people outside the business. We have other social engineering rules in place too. I've never used LinkedIn and certainly wouldn't after reading that.

          1. gobaskof Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Whereas our university uses Office 365 mail and for a while had some (hopefully experimental?) feature turned on which notified everyone who "works with who" by scanning emails. Which, for some people, suddenly showed them as working with the mental health councillors... Great idea

      2. BillG
        Devil

        Privacy Statements are for the Suckers

        @thames wrote: The whole point of social media is to mine your personal information

        Exactly. A social media website will do whatever it wants with your data and the law be damned. Privacy statements are for naive suckers.

  2. oiseau Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Curious? Really?

    "... curious to know what else these 'publishers' are getting from Microsoft about me and the machines I spun ..."

    Curious?

    What else?

    You're dealing with Microsoft and their new chum, Canonical.

    There's no need to be curious.

    The writing has been on the wall for ages and the answer is absolutely everything.

    O.

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Curious? Really?

      Not sure what the news story is here?

      You used someone's product and they know about it automatically.

      Guess what happens when you install Chrome? buy an iDevice, boot Windows.

      I'd be surprised if your car doesn't phone home.

      Your [insert software product] is absolutely certain to.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Curious? Really?

        Not sure what the news story is here?

        RTFA then

      2. Smirnov

        Re: Curious? Really?

        "Guess what happens when you install Chrome? buy an iDevice, boot Windows."

        And yet I was never contacted by a Google representative after the dozens of instances of installing Chrome on a computer or phone.

        Apple has also shunned me with silence despite buying quite a lot of Macs and iDevices.

        Your point is?

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: And yet I was never contacted by a Google representative

          Why would they need to contact you? They follow your every move. Contacting you, like MS/Canonical just did, is giving the game away.

          Google are clearly much better at this shit than Microsoft.

          And you lot suck it up like it's nectar.

          "Apple has also shunned me with silence"

          Yeah, when you bought that iDevice you gave them your details. Think it through.

          1. tip pc Silver badge

            Re: And yet I was never contacted by a Google representative

            "Yeah, when you bought that iDevice you gave them your details. Think it through."

            You typically know your passing on your details when you sign in.

            this guy just spun up an instance from his work azure account and he got a message to his personal LinkedIn.

            I assume he wouldn't have been miffed if he had been contacted at his work account given that's what he used to spin up the ubuntu instance.

            would you be miffed if a sales person for something you used at work contact you via twitter or Facebook?

            1. yetanotheraoc

              Re: And yet I was never contacted by a Google representative

              Better summary of the issue than in the actual article.

              "Which means that Canonical sales hunted my name down into social medias to reach me directly."

              More likely Microsoft served up that information. After all, it is called LinkedIn.

            2. Double Demon

              Re: And yet I was never contacted by a Google representative

              It was via linkedin not FB or Twitter- thats fair game - its for business use

          2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: And yet I was never contacted by a Google representative

            "Yeah, when you bought that iDevice you gave them your details. Think it through."

            No I didn't. Not now, not ever. My iCloud ID is a unique email not tied to anything personally identifiable and not used anywhere else outside the iEcosystem, I've never given Apple my real name, address or anything else. Of course; they might be able to determine this by looking at what I do/share, but I certainly never 'gave' it to them.

      3. Adelio Silver badge

        Re: Curious? Really?

        But it does not mean it is right.

        Americans seem to have a much more lasefair attitude to privacy than the EU (and the UK)

        T.B.H I would rather pay a small fee and get NO tracking of any sort. I am realy not sure how much use this targeted advertising etc really is anyway. But I do not like it, that is why I have an adblocker on my PC and phone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Curious? Really?

          Psssst, je vous en prie… Ça, c'est «laissez-faire». Un cadeau pour vous. De rien! ;-)

          (Et les gens qu'écrivent «viola», aïee!)

          1. C-L
            Meh

            Re: Curious? Really?

            > (Et les gens qu'écrivent «viola», aïee!)

            I despise and loathe these moron "sophisticates" as well!

        2. Eltonga
          Mushroom

          Re: Curious? Really?

          Calling "targeted advertising" to a straight sales call referencing an action you just did is a show of excessive good nature.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Canonical...

    I find this communication distinctly unprofessional & borderline stalking. As such I will refuse to do business with you. Goodbye.

    1. G Watty What?

      Re: Dear Canonical...

      Dear Anonymous Coward,

      We're really disappointed you feel this way and would love to speak to you to see if there's anyway to improve our service. If you could fire up an instance of Ubuntu on Azure, we'll be sure to reach out and I'm convinced we can this sorted!

      Feel free to do it anytime you like, I'm always watching.

      1. Eltonga

        Re: Dear Canonical...

        And don't worry, your anonymity is perfectly safe with us...

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Dear Canonical...

          P.S: Did you know you have over a gig of files in your temp folder, probably time for a clear out. Oh and also, that shirt really doesn’t suit you, you need to buy more milk, and your car’s oil-change is due. And you shouldn’t pick your nose like that.

  4. TVU

    Creeped-out dev...immediately approached by a Canonical sales rep

    This article ought to be accompanied by the Twilight Zone theme music because this is seriously creepy (behaviour).

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Ah yes, The Cloud. Somebody else's computer. Their rules but your choice.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Yep. I never get tired of saying it: So how's that cloud thing working for ya?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "So how's that cloud thing working for ya?"

        For me? NextCloud runs on a Pi, Apart from being a backup it also shares stuff between my laptop & SWMBO's. Aso in this case it's on my computer.

        And it needs to keep being said because so many people don't realise it until something like this story happens.

        1. TimMaher Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Pi

          Good job you haven’t installed Raspbian @Doc.

          M$ have just dropped VSCode on it without anybody asking. The Raspbian foundation are perfectly happy with this for some reason.

          BTW if you want to isolate the aptitude touch to M$, just comment out the curl link in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vscode.list

          It seems to last between updates as well.

      2. The Basis of everything is...
        Happy

        Cloud working very well thank-you

        For quite a few years now my mortgage has been paid thanks to lots of people wanting to shovel stuff into the cloud.

        And quite a few wanting to move stuff from one flavour of private cloud / hosting to another.

        And no doubt in a few more years I'll be paying kids college fees thanks to people wanting to get their stuff out of the cloud and back to something they can fully control,

        So I'm loving it. How's about you?

  6. Long John Silver
    Pirate

    Avoid the big beasts in the jungle

    When people place themselves in thrall of entities like Microsoft and Canonical, perhaps for apparently sound commercial reasons, they almost inevitably sacrifice some autonomy; they depend upon the competence, probity, and goodwill of a behemoth.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Avoid the big beasts in the jungle

      Competence? In our tenant, we have some 30 users with borked Exchange Online mailboxes that have been borked for months. I have opened 5+ support requests and only one of the technicians actually worked with me at length to find a solution—even then none was found and the issues persist. Hell I just submitted a ticket last week about a user not being able to sign in to Office 365 or Teams on the desktop, and it has so far been transferred to 4 different departments and NONE of the buggers have actually read my original description of the problem (have had to copy paste it into and email reply so they read it), looked into it at all, or even attempted to provided a solution.

      Microsoft 365 is just a bunch of fancy web and PowerShell wrappers around their existing products like SharePoint, utilizing Azure AD, which again is just fancy web/PowerShell wrappers around Active Directory. Completely fucking pointless for our environment and has been more trouble than it's worth.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Avoid the big beasts in the jungle

        "Azure AD, which again is just fancy web/PowerShell wrappers around Active Directory"

        Hmm... I think I may have an idea why you are unable to get your computer systems to run correctly...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Avoid the big beasts in the jungle

          And what is that?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Avoid the big beasts in the jungle

            That would be the essence of Active Directory, of course.

            1. sev.monster Bronze badge

              Re: Avoid the big beasts in the jungle

              l'Essánce d'Adir. Coming to your nearest Best Buy.

              It smells distinctly of head-scratching, OIDs, and overtime.

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Avoid the big beasts in the jungle

        Hell I just submitted a ticket last week about a user not being able to sign in to Office 365 or Teams on the desktop[do something] in [the application], and it has so far been transferred to 4 different departments and NONE of the buggers have actually read my original description of the problem (have had to copy paste it into and email reply so they read it), looked into it at all, or even attempted to provided a solution.

        That could be a random incident at my last work place - very few took responsibility - then again, very few took the time to understand the problem - SLAs and get the ticket off the queue appeared to the the usual response

    2. oiseau Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Avoid the big beasts in the jungle

      ...depend upon the competence, probity, and goodwill of a behemoth.

      Hmm ...

      Competence?

      Microsoft? Depends on your point of view, like most other things in life.

      As for probity and goodwill, forget it.

      Never had any.

      Remember how MS started.

      O.

  7. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Welp

    I already moved off Ubuntu years ago because of Canonical's behavior. And I've been telling everyone that I cannot sign off on more than 2 1/2 nines for an Azure deloyment.

    So....

  8. FlippingGerman

    WTF?

    Do these people have no sense of decency? No one thought about this for a millisecond and said "nah, that would be too fucking creepy"? Apparently not.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      I don't think any salesman in any industry in the entire history of the world has ever thought that.

      1. The Aussie Paradox
        Pint

        Re: WTF?

        I don't think any salesman in any industry in the entire history of the world has ever thought that.

        I would humbly beg to differ. The sales weasel guide to operation would have "Be creepy" typed in bold at the top of each page.

        It's Friday afternoon in my part of the world. That is enough internet for me.

  9. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I would expect this behaviour from a service MS offered for free such as Outlook.com or Skype. But when you are paying for a service such as Azure you would think it would be an opt in for it to share any data. But its clear these companies can't resist making some extra money by selling your personal info to the highest bidder at any opportunity.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Good job MSFT just got the contract to run the DoD on Azure.

      I see you're planning to invade $ COUNTRY$. Would you also like to buy some copies of Windows for Warships ?

      1. Hazmoid

        So to me this sounds like an updated Clippy :)

      2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        > I see you're planning to invade $ COUNTRY$.

        $COUNTRY$ is currently provided by $FOREIGN_GOVERNMENT, as per our T&Cs we have shared details of your interest with them...

  10. HereAndGone

    Ubuntu Phone's Home

    I enjoy ragging on MS as much as the next person but this is likely pure Ubuntu.

    When I did an analysis of Ubuntu years back, I found that the default installation sent information back to Canonical everytime Ubuntu powered Up or Down.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Ubuntu Phone's Home

      Both. It's both.

  11. Blackjack Silver badge

    That's it moving to Linux Mint Debian Edition

    As soon as my new hard disk arrives by mail, I am switching to that distro.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: That's it moving to Linux Mint Debian Edition

      I can confirm that LMDE is the second best choice for an OS Distro. FreeBSD is obviously the best.

      1. quxinot Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: That's it moving to Linux Mint Debian Edition

        Not sure if I should upvote that or downvote it, because you just described my preferred OS choices for both client and server. Are you a secret Canonical rep about to message me?!

      2. Smirnov

        Re: That's it moving to Linux Mint Debian Edition

        "I can confirm that LMDE is the second best choice for an OS Distro. FreeBSD is obviously the best."

        I guess you haven't tried openSUSE then. Because there isn't anything more user friendly out there than that.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: That's it moving to Linux Mint Debian Edition

          I don't choose FreeBSD for its user friendliness. There is a bit of a learning curve to get up to speed with it, but it is worth it.

          On FreeBSD, it takes me about 5 minutes from bare metal to a working Samba server, vs about a day for Windows Server, mostly spent updating and rebooting the dammed thing. An inexperienced person would probably to the Windows install quicker but mess up security, but they would have a sort-of working system, whereas they wouldn't know where to start with FreeBSD.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: That's it moving to Linux Mint Debian Edition

        Devuan. You forgot Devuan.

        ATM I'm having to use Mint on my new laptop until the new versions of Devuan lands with the latest drivers.

    2. arachnoid2 Bronze badge

      Re: That's it moving to Linux Mint Debian Edition

      Hi

      We see you have purchased one of our high performance hard drives, to help you maintain optimal performance and system integrity would you like to go on our monthly diagnostic subscription service at a 20% discount?

  12. Howard Sway

    LinkedIn

    The clue is in the name folks. It ain't called AnonymousPrivacy.

    When Microsoft bought it did you think they paid all that money because they wanted to provide a fun free service? Or because they wanted to leverage the user base to wring every last penny they could out of it?

    However, I had no idea that they'd "link in" their Azure customers with it, or their "partners". I thought Azure was supposed to be a private customer-supplier professional grade cloud hosting operation. Obviously not. Just another privacy free marketing operation.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      That's why you're not CEO.

      Nor am I.

      1. Steve K Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        That's not what it says on your LinkedIn profile...

        That's not what it says on your LinkedIn profile...

    2. Georgski

      Re: LinkedIn

      Linkedin's ownership doesn't matter for this story.

      Salesdroids, recruiterdroids, all kinds of droid find it easy to find anyones LinkedIn profile because they feature real names with real employer names

      And so does the Azure profile, obvs.

  13. Scott 26

    I have 4 Ubuntu VMs in Azure for work (1 prd, 2 nprd, and 1 monitor running percona)....

    I haven't been contacted at all... or maybe I have... I haven't logged into LInkedIn in about 3 years. OK... just logged in - nothing apart from cold calling slave traders "You'd be a perfect match for my client with your Azure skills"... yeah, right.

    Why was this guy targetted?

    1. sev.monster Bronze badge

      Might be a random selection process, new procedures, or he has a big profile and they want to exploit it.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Some guy down on his quarter. Or maybe a newly recruited ex-double-glazing salesman.

  14. J27 Silver badge

    We've got a number of Ubuntu VMs on our corporate Azure subscription, including some ones created recently. How do we know this isn't a coincidence or sensationalized fiction? The Twitter user quoted here doesn't cite any proof.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      re: How do we know this isn't a coincidence or sensationalized fiction?

      It paints microsoft in a bad light, who gives a fuck about whether it's true?

      PILE ON!!!!

  15. freezedri3d

    I really don't see what all the fuss is about

    Isn't it highly ironic that someone who lists themselves on LinkedIn as a Head of Offensive Security didn't bother to read the legal documents that he agreed to?

    I seem to be the odd one out I guess, in that I find it obvious that when you list yourself in a public platform, and pay for services which comes with terms that you've accepted that organizations will use the information gathered?

    It also amuses me no end, that the default response of this community and others seems to be "OMG MICROSOFT", when the other two cloud providers have literally built their businesses on knowing more about your personal life than Microsoft has ever cared to.

    It's the same as Linux system administrators insisting that Microsoft is cancer, when AWS merrily fucks over whomever they please in the open source world and Google keeps more stuff hidden away (and for military use) that it publishes, while Microsoft actually sponsors a shit-ton of the open source ecosystem nowadays, including archiving it for posterity, while ensuring pretty much the standard for their projects (or project docs) is open-source nowadays.

    Ballmer is long gone, grow up and stop acting like a tinfoil-hat-wearing parade of grumbling grandparents.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I really don't see what all the fuss is about

      "stop acting like a tinfoil-hat-wearing parade of grumbling grandparents."

      First post, I see. Maybe we're just not your sort of people.

      1. NATTtrash

        Re: I really don't see what all the fuss is about

        Go easy on her/ him Doc...

        (S)He is still trying to find the Windows key on that Apple key board. Can happen to the best of us...

      2. freezedri3d

        Re: I really don't see what all the fuss is about

        That'd be a shame, since I think there's plenty of room in the industry for diverse opinions. But perhaps you're right; even though I've read this website for most of my career I shouldn't engage in the comments section as I don't fit the stereotype?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: I really don't see what all the fuss is about

          There is a stereotype here. Some big name in the industry takes a misstep, attracts a lot of opprobrium here and then a new commentard appears to praise them.

          1. sev.monster Bronze badge
            Big Brother

            Re: I really don't see what all the fuss is about

            Not suspicious at all, you see. He just forgot his password, that's all. Nothing to see here, nuh uh.

          2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: I really don't see what all the fuss is about

            Oi! It's not just the big names in the industry that get panned for being stupid here.

            1. freezedri3d

              Re: I really don't see what all the fuss is about

              Fair enough!

    2. Monochrome

      Re: I really don't see what all the fuss is about

      Isn't this the whole idea of LinkedIn or social media in general? Having an online profile to facilitate communication and in the case of LinkedIn, business? If the guy's that worried about privacy then he should surely delete or hide his online accounts. I've had people Google my name, find my website and email me. But that's kind of why I have a web site *shrug*

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: knowing more about your personal life than Microsoft has ever cared to

      Um, it's more like more than Borkzilla has ever been able to.

      You might want to revise your computing history. Microsoft has been late to every Internet party. First it ignored it, then it scrambled to rejoin it, then it faught to dominate it, which happened with IE 4, then it forgot about it letting Google take over.

      Since then, it has stayed in the background, because it had no choice. Google has taken over, JavaScript is everywhere and none of that has anything to do with Borkzilla.

      Borkzilla is now in the back seat, as far as driving the Internet is concerned.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. sabroni Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: grow up and stop acting like a tinfoil-hat-wearing parade of grumbling grandparents.

      This. A hundred times this.

    6. sev.monster Bronze badge
      Alien

      Re: I really don't see what all the fuss is about

      You would have had an upvote if not for that last sentence. I use my tinfoil to bake potatoes AND to block gamma rays, I'm not as simple as you think.

      1. TimMaher Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: I really don't see what all the fuss is about

        And... @sev, you can use it as a popcorn holder if you turn it the other way up.

        I was going to use mine as my covfefe holder but my supply is still in Zeebrugge, awaiting customs clearance.

      2. freezedri3d

        Re: I really don't see what all the fuss is about

        That's a smart dual-use!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Similar type of thing happened to me a few years back, but it was just talking on the phone. Could be pure coincidence. I was talking to someone, both using android phones, mentioned an address that I was to go and pick something up at. Go to Google to look where it is, type the first 2 letters in, the whole address, including house number is the suggestion.

    After that, I then started to wonder, do Google monitor the calls.

  17. Sparkus Bronze badge

    First response to creepy cold calls is

    always ask for their bosses direct contact info. And the email of their corporate ethics office.

    You may not get the correct info to these queries, but you might put a fear-of-ghod into the creep.....

    1. ssoj

      Re: First response to creepy cold calls is

      Why? That's such an overreaction to something inconsequential. Just say "no thanks, and please remove me from your list".

      Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if you would relish having targets to meet while someone "puts the fear of God" into you.

    2. Mage Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: First response to creepy cold calls is

      No, the first response is to say it's being recorded and traced. They'd not at all care about those.

      Or hang up.

      Or set the phone down, with mic muted till they hang up.

      1. 9Rune5 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: First response to creepy cold calls is

        Or set the phone down, with mic muted till they hang up.

        I assume that if you happen to be conducting some 'business' in the restroom, then muting the microphone is optional?

        Mine is the one with a box of chili in the pocket.

  18. tomboley

    I just moved to Ubuntu after the Red Hat/CentOS fiasco... Have I got to move again?

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Have I got to move again?

      In a nutshell?

      Yes.

      O.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Have I got to move again?

        Some interesting developments lately from the suse folks in regard to the relationship between their Open Source product family and the paid for enterprisey products. Might be worth a look before you decide where to go next.

    2. AVee

      Move to plain Debian, stick with it. Worked fine for me the last 15 years...

  19. Doug 3

    LOL, naive dev didnt think Microsoft would sell his information

    Spinning it like it was Ubuntu's fault but AZURE is Microsofts game and they are the ones who sold off the contact information.

    Blaming Canonical is pathetic.

    1. sev.monster Bronze badge

      Re: LOL, naive dev didnt think Microsoft would sell his information

      I mean they could still choose to not do it. What, you think Canonical got held at gunpoint by Microsoft to collect user data and do cold calls?

    2. 9Rune5 Silver badge

      Re: LOL, naive dev didnt think Microsoft would sell his information

      How do you know that MS wasn't told "sure you can let your punters install Ubuntu, but only if you provide us with their 411"?

      I'd like more details on this story.

  20. CrackedNoggin Bronze badge

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/27/linkedin-ceo-jeff-weiner-is-ok-with-microsofts-hands-off-approach.html

    "He turned to the Microsoft Surface Studio PC on his desk, brought up Microsoft’s Outlook email service in a browser window and then, with a few clicks, accessed information from LinkedIn about people with whom he had exchanged messages.

    “It’s a really powerful way to just stay in touch and to just understand who’s reaching out and what they’re up to,” said Weiner, who became LinkedIn’s CEO in 2009, a year after joining the company from Yahoo.

    Although that integration exists on the web and in Outlook’s iOS app, other promises have yet to materialize, such as an “Intelligent Newsfeed” in LinkedIn that draws from information in Office apps, and tools for managers to understand what their employees are doing at work.

    The slowness points to Microsoft’s current desire to not screw up its biggest acquisition yet, suggesting a change in approach under CEO Satya Nadella.

    ...

    As part of the deal, LinkedIn got to retain its independence and Weiner remained in charge. Weiner received a spot on Microsoft’s senior leadership team and started reporting directly to Nadella, while keeping his CEO title.

    “Satya has made good on every single thing we talked about prior to the acquisition,” Weiner said."

    1. Drat

      "As part of the deal, LinkedIn got to retain its independence and Weiner remained in charge. Weiner received a spot on Microsoft’s senior leadership team and started reporting directly to Nadella, while keeping his CEO title."

      So MS didn't replace the CEO of Linkedin with one of their own, instead they turned the CEO of Linkedin into one of their own. Assimilation instead of usurpation....

    2. tfewster Silver badge
      Joke

      Nominative determinism at its finest - a Weiner working for Microsoft.

      1. sev.monster Bronze badge

        Weiner Weiner chicken... deiner?

  21. 2Fat2Bald

    Meh.

    I've given up trying to tell people that "The Cloud" is just marketing speak for "our internet-connected servers". That's literally all it means. Similarly "your data" means "our data about you". Mind you, that's just how society is these days - it's all internet-connected and privately owned. You don't have to use it but you miss out on a lot if you don't, so it's somewhat of a Faustian pact perhaps but one a LOT of people have signed up for.

    This is no longer the era of the Sinclair Spectrum...

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Meh.

      Yep. Currently resisting cloud migrations, I don't see them as anything other than a 3rd-party inserting themselves between you and your data. The number of "we run everything, even our AD, on Azure" companies is scary. And they *PAY* to do so, which baffles me.

      Maybe I'm old-fashioned, coming from the era of the Speccy, but to me having even (or especially) a large company like Microsoft or Canonical or Google inserted into everything you do is just a recipe for one day having a huge multi-national compromise.

      I don't get why people think that that won't happen, given the history of computer security in general, and the security of certain data at large institutions specifically. Why do we just assume that the big names can't fail? It's like the banks all over again.

      So I have my own stuff, at home, my own rented dedicated servers, run my own email, and I buy products without cloud integration as much as possible. The irony is that my personal life is therefore more "secure" than my professional life where I'm increasingly being required to hand over data and control to all kinds of third-parties.

      1. sev.monster Bronze badge

        Re: Meh.

        We're in the same boat. My private life has even begun to be intruded on because as the system admin I have to sign up with all these corporate types and give my name. We use all the cloudy things because we can't get more employees to support on-prem. It's just another way of outsourcing.

        I've recently been tempted to buy a plot of land in the middle of nowhere and build a little secured shack to throw some servers in, and use my existing VPSes as backups in the swarm, trusted to less critical data (or have everything encrypted before transit). It would be a fun little project, and would make me wholly independent.

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Meh.

          Funny you should say that, I was seriously looking at an old plot of land up for sale in Cornwall which housed a former Navy nuclear monitoring station. Literally just a hole in the ground with a bed and a vent, and a small plot to go with it.

          Was thinking it would make an ideal "second server" location, with a few solar panels, and even a bed for the night should I decide to drive round Cornwall when things are all back to normal.

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            Re: Meh.

            https://www.primelocation.com/for-sale/commercial/details/57416358 for reference.

            1. sev.monster Bronze badge
              Devil

              Re: Meh.

              Takes the phrase "hole in the wall/ground" to a new level.

              And now while you're distracted, it's time to build a bunker raiding party.

    2. Adelio Silver badge

      Re: Meh.

      I just see no reason for me (personally) to use "the cloud" Giving someone else access to my data with no guarantee they will not access it or more importantly loose it is not acceptable.

      There have been to many stories (one is enough) or cloud services where "oops we have lost your data" or "sorry instead of a free/cheap service you will have to pay us big bucks to store your data".

      I provide my own "cloud" service using NAS boxes to store my data (as a backup for my main data)

      Anyway, My current NAS holds > 20tb of data, that would be expensive to store in the cloud and the access times would be horrific.

      1. sev.monster Bronze badge

        Re: Meh.

        I have found it cheaper on the smaller scale to buy hard disk backed storage in VPS solutions (I like RamNode, good people) than to purchase dedicated backup space (I like Tarsnap, good people).

        Also, it seems no one supports ZFS replication, so if I wanted to store incremental snapshots it would take up a lot more space and time to compress/transfer than an actual ZFS endpoint on a VPS would. So obviously I do the latter. And it's all encrypted of course :)

  22. TonyJ Silver badge

    They aren't alone

    I've had contact from numerous companies via linkedin, direct to corporate email despite it not being linked in any way to said email other than the usual note that's where I worked.

    And these companies don't seem to grasp the creepiness of it "Hey I saw that you worked at <company x> on LinkedIn and I wanted to reach out to you / offer you / sell you / etc..."

    Or another perennial favourite - recruiters. Not to try and recruit me but to ask me if I need someone.

    Even worse - I have a note on there explicitly stating that I do not give anyone permission to use LinkedIn to try and guess my corporate email address and NOT to try to contact me this way. If it even gets read, it's simply ignored.

    I don't keep it up to date anymore and haven't for years, so these emails go nowhere.

  23. CAPS LOCK

    I'm fairly sure Canonical will become a part of Microsoft in the foreseeable future...

    ... I'm planning accordingly...

    1. sev.monster Bronze badge

      Re: I'm fairly sure Canonical will become a part of Microsoft in the foreseeable future...

      It would be a great move for MS and would give them a fight in the Linux space. Coincidentally, should this happen, it is bitterly funny that the bloated OS hucker will buy the most bloated OS in the Linux world!

  24. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "These contact details are held in Canonical’s CRM in accordance with privacy rules."

    Spot the vague to meaningless statement.

  25. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    The only way to stop behavior like this..

    ..is to resolve to always either decline what is being marketed or always go to a competitor when pushy sales methods are used, even if it's something you are looking for. Actual leeches are less invasive and easier to get rid of.

  26. my cats breath smells like cat food

    Buongiorno

    Guy's name was Bongiorno, what did he expect?

    We are fast heading into a world where we are tracked 100% of the time by somebody. Strike that, we already live in that world.

  27. ssoj

    Overreacting maybe?

    This smacks of a need to grow up and be a little less precious. The thing I love the MOST is going to Twitter to complain, because "muh privacy".

    There were a number of ways that old matey could have better handled this without looking like a bedwetter... a simple reply to the sales rep to say thanks but no thanks would have sufficed; I get tonnes of sales-y emails and messages and I figure that if I'm advertising myself on social media, I'm ripe for picking so to speak.

  28. Tim Kemp

    Am I the only person that thinks that whether or not you consider this acceptable is irrelevant, you should either (a) read all the damned terms and conditions before clicking Accept (along with all the related terms and conditions) or (b) assume that the contract is biased solely in the vendor's favour and they will do what they like with the data and then find something in the 4,000,000 page agreement that covers their behaviour?

    If you don't want to be stalked don't have an online presense. If you care about privacy so much then stop using t'internet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Tim Kemp - Small correction

      (a) periodically read all the damned terms...

      Because they can be changed unilaterally at any moment without prior notice.

    2. sreynolds

      Or you could not really give a fuck about their terms and fucking conditions, and go offline as much as possible and not report back.

      I don't trust Visual Studio Code nor Visual Studio any version. They send too much shit back to M$. So I just firewall them off for normal usage and don't allow them to store any persistent state by using a snapshoted VM. It's a bit cumbersome with some settings but hey you cannot send "telemetry" back if you don't have it in the first place.

  29. Mage Silver badge
    Alert

    direct contact on my private LinkedIn account

    First mistake.

    If you HAVE a LinkedIn account, then change everything to be fictitious. Use a temporary email account. Delete the email account when you have acknowledged the changed email account.

    Massive source of spam since MS took it over.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: direct contact on my private LinkedIn account

      Exactly what I did as soon I heard Microsoft were after LinkedIn.

      1. sreynolds

        Re: direct contact on my private LinkedIn account

        I stopped using linkedin in 2005 when some recruiter went over my contacts saying he was a friend of mine and tried to headhunt people I had added.

        Since then I only have bullshit linkedin profiles to stalk people. You just need to start off slowly, fake email addresses, use the VPN, never add a phone number and voila after a few months you are up to 500 no IDK contacts.

        Or you could all just lives. The choice is yours.

  30. gap

    And this is the rub - you own hardware, but with software you get a license to use it. Most software isn't thrown over the fence and you walk away with it unrestricted.

    I don't know what is normal in other app stores, but imagine the storm if Apple were to pass on details of every person installing an app from their app store to the developer.

  31. hayzoos

    Good joke

    "private linkedin account" hilarious, ROTFLMAO! Oh, wait he was being serious wasn't he?

  32. 759b954e-617b-408b-a2b1-f5a42c3688d4
    Thumb Down

    "If you purchase or use a Marketplace Offering, we may share with the Publisher of such Offering your contact information and details about the transaction and your usage."

    If you do that, I will not use your services. Bye.

  33. Bodincus

    Erm...

    RTFT&C & STFU.

  34. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    "On February 10th, a new Canonical Sales Representative..."

    Dane Redman has, according to his LinkedIn account, been working there since a tad before the last week of Jan 2021.

    Job Title: Enterprise Development at Ubuntu.

  35. Double Demon

    So bloody precious and outraged.

    Some would call it good customer service.

    Besides - you don’t mind publicly trying to shame someone doing nothing wrong because you think thats ok.

    Grow up.

  36. TechHeadToo

    And yet...

    And yet 'we' can't track down spammers, psycho's, paedophiles, and the rest of the bad stuff on the 'net.

    Everyone here knows that nothing you do is private unless you are physically disconnected.

    Me? I'm expecting some sort of major shakeup and a 'new net' to appear with built in traceability dictated by government (so they can track voters and influencers)

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