(I tried to create this topic in Privacy tools category, but it’s not possible, probably spam protection?)
Ubuntu has this package installed by default:
It’s only purpose is to provide settings for NetworkManager to send requests to connectivity-check.ubuntu.com , and based on the result (AFAIK) detect redirection by captive portals and open an ISP’s page (think public WiFi, or hotel rooms, where you need to authorize to access the net).
Well, connectivity-check.ubuntu.com is hosted on Google cloud (you can check that by running:
dig connectivity-check.ubuntu.com whois [the IP from previous query]
), so by default Ubuntu sends requests to a Google cloud page.
I don’t say Google counts daily active Ubuntu users (because many of those have the same IP), or that Google actively logs and analyzes that data. But some of you guys may not like that behavior.
So what’s the fix?
Purge the package
sudo apt purge network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu
If you do need a captive portal detection, create your own config file to query some HTTP (not HTTPS) page of your choice, in the example below I have a Debian page used for the same purpose. Use your favorite text editor to create and edit /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/90-connectivity-custom.conf :
sudo systemctl restart NetworkManager
If you run an Ubuntu derivative, please report if you have network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu installed in the comments.
P.S. I would like this post to not be used to raise pitchforks against Ubuntu and Canonical, as I believe without the simplicity of Ubuntu many of it’s current users would still be on Windows, worse even - on Windows 10.