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[cross-project-issues-dev] New UUID in Eclipse Platform

All,

I wanted to make everyone aware that a UUID has been added to the Eclipse Platform [1] and is available in the current Neon RC.  This was done at the request of the Eclipse Foundation.

 

The UUID is automatically generated and stored in the ${user.home}/.eclipse/eclipse.uuid file. The UUID does not contain any personally identifiable information. If a user do not want to have this property set they are instructed to set eclipse.uuid=0. Information about the UUID has been included in the Eclipse Platform N&N [2].

The UUID will be automatically added to the user-agent of http requests to *.eclipse.org servers. For Neon, the projects that make these types of requests include p2 [1], MPC [3] and AERI [4]. I would expect other projects will add a uuid in the future.

 

The immediate questions for many people are 1) why are we doing this, and 2) what about the privacy concerns.  Let me attempt to answer both of these questions.

Why are we doing this?

The Eclipse Foundation has started an program to better understand our user community. We are using a log file analysis service, Splunk, to analyze many of our log files to get a better idea of how people are using Eclipse. For instance, how many people actively use Eclipse, what version of Java is the most popular with the Eclipse user community, what version of Eclipse Platform is being used or what operating system is being used? In the past, this type of information was typically a ‘best guess’. We believe can do better by having the actual data of our user community. The UUID will allow us to get a more accurate answer to many of these questions.

What about the privacy concerns?

The UUID is anonymous and does not contain personably identifiable information. We only intend to use and analyze the UUID at an aggregate level. A user is able to opt-out of sending a UUID by setting eclipse.uuid=0. The Eclipse Foundation has a published Privacy Policy [5] that details our specific practices.

 Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I appreciate this might be a sensitive topic but I do believe it is the right thing to do for the Eclipse community.

Regards

Ian

 

 [1] https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=490112

[2] https://www.eclipse.org/eclipse/news/4.6/platform.php

[2] https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=492916

[3] https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=492917

[4] https://eclipse.org/legal/privacy.php