Privacy questions/concerns

I’m a potential future user of Zorin who would not only use it for personal use, but also switch over some of our business machines.

With that being said, privacy is always first and foremost a concern when it comes to switching to a new operating system.

Up until now I have been using Elementary which has been great. Their privacy policy is simple and to the point with a huge emphasis on NEVER sending/collecting data from a user’s device and enabling sandboxing, permissions, and other hardening features which were attractive. There is also a warrant canary at the bottom of their privacy page that lets users know they have no back door, never received a court order or FISA warrant, etc. There is also a notification you will get to let you know if your microphone is being used.

When it comes to Zorin, the privacy policy is very verbose and there is no warrant canary so users are very aware if any backdoor were installed or court order was issued to violate user’s privacy/security.

There is no sandboxing of apps, permissions control, or any hardening that has been mentioned.

After installing the latest free build, I also noticed there is NO PRIVACY OPTIONS AT ALL. Seriously?! Even the most basic and barebones Linux distributions I have privacy settings where you can enable/disable thinks like location services, file/usage history, and other important privacy features which are pivotal to basic privacy/security.

I’m shocked, and kind of appalled, that Zorin has been around this long (and even offers a paid version) and doesn’t seem to care about user’s privacy at all and even goes as far as removing features that would enhance user’s privacy.

Can anyone hep me out here… why would I switch to Zorin as a privacy aware user when Zorin doesn’t seem to do anything to help secure user’s privacy/security or even spell it out in simple terms in their privacy policy.

Thanks!

I love the look and feel of Zorin but all of the issues above are so big that no matter how much I like the look and feel, I can’t switch or recommend my businesses switching due to these serious issues.

I am tagging this for @AZorin and @zorink to review as you pose some legitimate concerns that you would like to have addressed.

It may be that the Zorin OS page needs some re-wording to help users simply and neatly examine where Zorin OS stands on Privacy.

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I appreciate that.

Zorin Lite runs like a dream on my older personal laptop and I’ve run about a dozen different things on it this past week.

I feel like all the other points about privacy measures are important as well, especially the total lack of any basic privacy controls.

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I use Zorin Lite, as well. I think part of my own bias is in familiarity with the O.S.
But I also tend to do my own thing... For example, I use Nemo File manager instead of the default Thunar file manager. This results in the privacy settings in the file manager being present on my system.
I am quite certain that the ZorinGroup takes privacy and security very seriously.
But it is interesting that the users that have been with Zorin OS for a while may take it for granted, without thinking much about how privacy may appear to a newcomer. Many Windows users are conditioned a certain way and don't necessarily look to the privacy policy first.
They are too busy screaming, "For the love of all the Universe, please help me"...

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About what?

Help them to escape Windows ...
or
Help them to figure out Linux...

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Hello,
Zorin OS 16 includes privacy controls out of the box which can be found by opening the Settings app and going to the "Privacy" category.
It lets you easily toggle Location Services, File History, Screen Lock and a few other privacy settings.

In the same Settings app, there's also a category called "Applications" (right above the Privacy category) which gives you permission controls and sandboxing settings (as well as other app-specific preferences) for supported Flatpak and Snap apps.
These settings wouldn't extend to all traditional deb/apt apps as sandboxing isn't available for them due to how Debian packaging is designed on a technical level.

In Zorin OS 16 if you're using the microphone in an app such as the Sound Recorder it shows a microphone icon in the taskbar where the other indicators are, to show that it is in use.

Regarding the Privacy Policy, it was drafted by our lawyers in accordance with Irish and EU law which has more stringent requirements than US law and therefore requires more verbosity.

Thank you for the suggestion regarding the warrant canary. We have now added one to our Privacy Policy in the "How we protect and store your information" section under the "Transparency" heading.

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Thank you so much for the reply and for adding the warrant canary!

I just installed 16 on a different device to test that and I noticed the privacy options.

How come I am not able to find them on the 15 Lite version I was using?

Again, I seriously appreciate you not only taking the time to listen and respond but acting so quickly in order to add something so important.

I will be giving Zorin a try!

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