Näh I don't belive in the Canonical infiltrating the world theory - They just fubared with the Unity DE. Mint is about giving back the feel of the good old Ubuntu and Gnome2 - and that made them popular.
It seems to be the strategic decision that the computer will be all about smartphones in the future; both Canonical and Microsoft seem to agree about that. And none of them will ever have a chance in that market that is dominated by Google with Apple as runner up.
Google is bad in terms of privacy, Canonical has become bad, Apple is a disaster and has even patented the right to remote control your camera, with MS we do not know but they have not been as bad so far.
Most people are somewhat behind in terms of understandanding what the technology is capable of in terms of ruining their privacy. Google seem to be proud of knowing everything about you - and selling it to third parties. So they are not "free" - people just don't know the price.
Some poor bastad in China might have found out, after Google sold information about who digs Dalai Lama, but other than that...
With Linux we have the posibility to change it - with Apple and MS products we cannot. That makes Canonical (and even Google) somewhat better. But when Canonical starts to collect everything that Google and Facebook has gathered about you - then this escalates and makes it even worse.
Putting together information like that would be illegal if you would do it about your government, Then you would get the "National security" treatment.....
So it comes down to if you think that you are entiteled to less privacy than your government. The EFF is a good wathdog in these matters. And these things need to be stoped now, because they are escalating beyond belief.
And thus we need to offer our help to Ubuntu users in this case, to avoid the espionage.
And above all we will have to repeat that (overly) social people should not provide more information than absolutely neccessary to Google and Facebook and facetube and whatever.
So when Google offers this fantastic service of giving your password back to you on your mobile phone, if you only would give them your mobile phonenumber., then what will you do?
Answer: Never give it to them - it is better to write your password down and give it to all your friends (probably to late - and that is the problem! - Now Canonical can just pick it up).
Should you tell Facebook about you braking up with George Cloney and your current vacation on Bahamas with Brad Pit? Yes please do; so I can break in at your current home address (that you have published on Facebook?) and steal your PC and all your jewels.