How to turn off Palm Pre's 'Big Brother' data collection
Debian developer Joey Hess this week pulled the covers off of Palm's WebOS, and showed some interesting things going on in the background. Apparently, Palm Inc. collects daily samples of the user's location, which apps he has installed and his usage of them, and app crash logs.
The main complaint for users now is that turning the data collection off is not simple or obvious enough. Hess said, "My approach to disable this, which may not stick across WebOS upgrades, was to comment out the 'exec' line in /etc/event.d/uploadd and reboot. However, then I noticed a contextupload process running. This is started by dbus, so the best way to disable it seems to be: rm /usr/bin/contextupload."
According to Palm, however, it's much easier than all that. Under Location Services, a user needs only to switch Background Data Collection to the "off" position and all this controversial location and app data will kept private.