Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon has apologised to Richard Stallman for calling Stallman's position on Ubuntu "childish". Last week, Richard Stallman wrote an article describing Ubuntu 12.10's Amazon Shopping Lens as spyware. In "Ubuntu Spyware: What to do", Stallman said that the sending of search terms being entered into the desktop by users on to Canonical's servers, where they are then searched for on Amazon, is simple surveillance and without the users' consent. Even though the Amazon searching can be turned off, "the existence of that switch does not make the surveillance feature ok" because its default state is on, he says. Stallman called on the free software community to "remove Ubuntu from the distros you recommend" and said that "it behooves us to give Canonical whatever rebuff is needed to make it stop this".
Bacon's new posting specifically apologises for that "childish" reference, saying "I apologize whole-heartedly to referring to your position in your post as childish and I continue to have great respect for the work you do to encourage and grow software freedom around the world". Bacon sticks to his position that Ubuntu's Dash is not acting as spyware and says that his issue was that calling Ubuntu spyware "somewhat over-sensationalizes the issue". Bacon said that his position as community manager does not mean he has influence to change any policies, but that he does have control over what he says on his blog and closes saying: "Apologies again to Richard, and I am going to chalk this one down as another one of lifes lessons."
Canonical has yet to make an official statement on the issue.