Unity ignores Gnome privacy settings

Bug #1079283 reported by Bhaavan Merchant on 2012-11-15
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Won't Fix
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

1) In Privacy option in control centre, in the File section, exclude recording activities from folder A.
2) Move some music / file / video / folder (say B) into the folder A.
3) Open unity dash, search B.

Expected behaviour:
Not see anything since it is now in an excluded record location (A).

Actual Behaviour:
B result is visible.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.10
Package: unity 6.10.0-0ubuntu2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.5.0-18.29-generic 3.5.7
Uname: Linux 3.5.0-18-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.6.1-0ubuntu6
Architecture: amd64
CompizPlugins: No value set for `/apps/compiz-1/general/screen0/options/active_plugins'
Date: Thu Nov 15 22:18:39 2012
InstallationDate: Installed on 2012-10-18 (27 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 12.10 "Quantal Quetzal" - Release amd64 (20121017.5)
MarkForUpload: True
SourcePackage: unity
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

summary: - Privacy settings is broken
+ Unity ignores Gnome privacy settings
Changed in unity:
milestone: none → 7.0.0
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
David Callé (davidc3) wrote :

I think this bug is more about the fact that the concepts behind the privacy panel are not fully understood/explained.
"Don't record activity" is exactly what it means, it won't record "new" activity about specific types of files in a specific folder, but previously recorded activities still exist and will be displayed in the Dash.
We should either:
a) do a better job at explaining this panel.
b) change lenses to never display recorded activities if their recording is disabled in the panel, therefore considering it as a Dash blacklist (AFAIK, only the Videos lens is working this way).

Joseph Wakeling (webdrake) wrote :

@David: I can confirm that on my system (Ubuntu 13.04) files keep showing up in Dash despite the "don't record" settings being in place _and_ having deleted all history. Dash blacklist sounds like a good plan.

Joseph Wakeling (webdrake) wrote :

Update: I realized why the files were appearing in Dash -- Dash was not searching files, but my Shotwell library. With Shotwell library cleared, and history cleared again, the "Don't record activity" constraints were respected and the files in question no longer showed up in Dash.

This sounds like a typical culprit for users finding their "Don't record" settings are seemingly not being respected. It also adds an extra search/blacklist challenge, as it may be very desirable to include certain files or folders in e.g. a photo, video or audio program's library while excluding them from Dash search.

Stephen M. Webb (bregma) on 2013-04-04
Changed in unity:
milestone: 7.0.0 → 7.0.1
Stephen M. Webb (bregma) on 2013-04-26
Changed in unity:
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → Medium
milestone: 7.0.1 → 7.1.0

It also happens on my system for files that are not in a Shotwell library (I don't use Shotwell and some files are text so shouldn't end up in Shotwell anyway).

To me, it seems the recently-used.xbel file is read, but not filtered. I've created a small Python script to filter the recently-used.xbel file according to the Zeitgeist blacklist - something like this ought to be implemented in the Dash.

Stephen M. Webb (bregma) on 2013-07-26
Changed in unity:
milestone: 7.1.0 → 7.1.1
Changed in unity-lens-files:
status: New → Confirmed
milestone: none → 7.1.0
Changed in unity:
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
Stephen M. Webb (bregma) on 2013-10-10
Changed in unity:
milestone: 7.1.1 → none
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Invalid
importance: Undecided → Medium
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