Re: privacy settings
1. There's no "spyware" in Ubuntu. It's a search engine. Your choice whether you feel comfortable with it turned on or not, but I'll just remind you that your web browser gives a lot more information to random third parties whenever you visit any website. Don't insult Ubuntu developers by calling the Shopping lens "spyware" as it's nothing of the sort.
Originally Posted by conradin
2. The Shopping lens is only active when you type something into Dash Home. You mentioned not using Unity, so if you don't use Unity then you'll never run a single line of Shopping lens code and there will be no Amazon search queries.
3. Removing Unity shouldn't cause any problems, unless you're trying to go overboard by removing support libraries like "firefox-globalmenu". On the same token though, keeping Unity alongside another desktop environment also won't hurt anything and of course won't slow anything down.
I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.