Remove zeitgeist if you believe it intrudes on your privacy

Ubuntu ships with a software called zeitgeist. It’s objective is to collect information on your usage, applications and pass that on for so-called improvements to user experiences when using Ubuntu. Unfortunately, it is also prevalent on Linux Mint, Gnome 3, and other distributions and it gets automatically installed. You can disable it in System Settings -> Privacy, but the instructions below remove it altogether.

To effectively safeguard your privacy, you should install your Ubuntu system without connecting to the internet. That way, nothing about you is passed on using zeitgeist.

After you restart your computer after installation, start a terminal and remove zeitgeist as follows:
$ sudo apt-get remove zeitgeist-datahub zeitgeist zeitgeist-core whoopsie <enter>

Next remove the zeitgeist files from your home folder as follows:
$ rm /home/user/local/share/zeitgeist <enter>

where user is your user name.

We all believe that software that we use permits us to trust it with our data and activities. Unfortunately, that cannot be predicted for zeitgeist. So, till I know what are the full repercussions, I would refrain from having it on my systems. Moreover, if you remove all zeitgeist packages, it breaks your desktop. This feature is deliberate and denies you the use of your Ubuntu system.

As Andy Grove said, “only the paranoid survive”.