No Ubuntu fan-boy here, although I have been running the latest LTS for the last few months (before that I was on Fedora for many years, and RHEL/CentOS for even longer ago), but this is nowhere near the scandal that integrating Amazon results into system search was. Not even close. I _would_ like Canonical to provide some more details on how they're going to safeguard the IP addresses that could show up in the access logs of the servers collecting this information (I can think of a few), but that's the only PIA that would seem to be at risk here. Statistical information like this isn't really any big deal. Sure, the half dozen of you out there running Ubuntu on a Multiprise (I hate you without even knowing who you are) might stick out like a sore thumb, but otherwise we're talking about a needle in a sea of... needles.
I can see how bug reporting could be of concern, since a stack trace or other diagnostic output might carry more detailed data that might expose identity related info (er, like IP addresses in a network trace). But the big problem I have with this is the relatively cavalier attitude Ubuntu's publisher exhibits when talking about it. Not exactly arrogance, but more the kind of tone-deafness that could be the result of living in a bit of a fan-boy bubble for too long. Still, really not worth all the virtual ink that's been spilled by this article and comments thereto.