To those saying it is just a one-off at install time. Did you fail to spot "the data-recorder would also install Popcon, to spot trends in package usage..."?
I would have no problem with a one-off install time hardware/configuration report if it was placed in a text file that I could examine/edit at leisure and then decide if it could be sent.
Happy Mint user here. Should I get unhappy, Ubuntu is now even further down the list of distros I'd consider switching to.