The problem for me is that isn't addressed by this is the decision to make it default on in Ubuntu. That failure of judgement* means that I can't trust them not to change something else that I have to notice and find out how to easily disable. Easy to turn off is not good enough for such a feature.
Edit to add: Basically I think RMS is right about this one (as he often is) although in many cases I make compromises that he would find wholly unacceptable.
* It might be ethics but I would give Canonical the benefit of the doubt on that one.
So yeah, I don't like this feature either (for all the reasons RMS pointed out), but I don't see how otherwise they could have tested it. Maybe not a failure of judgement then, but rather choosing innovation over privacy?
(Note the 12.10 betas also had all these queries going over the network in plain text... so I kind of see the whole experiment as taking the "move fast and break things" mantra taken to the extreme)