Skip to content
Home » Fedora 40 Aims for “Privacy-Preserving” Data Collection to Enhance User Experience

Fedora 40 Aims for “Privacy-Preserving” Data Collection to Enhance User Experience

The Red Hat Display Systems Team proposes a “privacy-preserving” data collection feature in Fedora 40, enabling insights without compromising user privacy.

The Red Hat Display Systems Team, which oversees the development of the Fedora desktop, has presented a proposal to introduce a “privacy-preserving” data collection feature for Fedora 40. This initiative aims to gather limited, anonymous usage metrics of Fedora Workstation in order to enhance the overall user experience.

As an open-source community project, Fedora values user privacy and acknowledges the importance of building and maintaining trust with its users. Therefore, the proposed data collection will strictly focus on aggregating usage metrics and will not involve collecting any personally identifiable information. The primary objective is to gather insights that will contribute to specific Fedora improvement goals, rather than building intrusive tracking profiles.

In the official proposal, the team emphasized their commitment to respecting user privacy and ensuring that data collection is conducted in an ethical and transparent manner. The proposal outlines that users will have the option to disable data upload before any information is sent.

Furthermore, the service will be operated internally by Fedora on its own infrastructure, eliminating the reliance on controversial third-party services like Google Analytics. In a departure from proprietary software operating systems, Fedora users will have the freedom to redirect data collection to their own private metrics server, providing complete visibility into the information being gathered, as all server components are open source.

Fedora 37 Workstation Edition
Fedora 37 Workstation Edition

The proposed metrics collection system is also expected to contribute to the ongoing efforts of making Fedora Workstation the premier developer platform for cloud software development. The data will enable the team to analyze the popularity of various Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) among Fedora users and identify the runtimes commonly used for container creation using Toolbox.

Beyond software development, metrics can play a significant role in informing user interface design decisions. The team aims to collect data on the clickthrough rate of recommended software banners in GNOME Software, which will help assess the effectiveness and relevance of these banners to users.

Additionally, insights into the frequency of panel visits in gnome-control-center will allow the team to identify opportunities for consolidation or removal of panels, ultimately simplifying the user experience by reducing the overwhelming number of settings options.

Another aspect of data collection is to gain a better understanding of the hardware used by Fedora users. By capturing metrics such as the type of primary storage (solid state drive or hard disk), the team can make more informed decisions when optimizing Fedora’s performance. Hardware information that would be useful for collaboration with hardware vendors, such as laptop model IDs, will also be collected.

The proposal emphasizes that different Fedora teams may have additional metrics they wish to collect to inform their respective areas of focus. For instance, the Fedora localization team intends to count users of specific locales to evaluate the state of localization efforts relative to usage.

It is important to note that the proposed data collection is intended to guide specific design decisions and improve the overall Fedora experience rather than enable user tracking. The team emphasizes that only aggregate data will be collected, and there is no need or intention to associate the data with individual users.

Before implementation, the proposal will undergo a community review process and requires approval from the community-elected Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo), ensuring that community feedback is taken into account. The team welcomes community participation and anticipates that the proposal may undergo significant modifications based on community input.

You can learn more about the proposal on this page.

Recent articles from

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments