I am happy to take Matt Cutts at his word that it is not the intention.
But if the time of his quote is accurate, he seems to have been aware that it would happen.
I suppose it depends what you mean by "intention".
The people who are tested in an experiment are generally volunteers.
Referrer tracking appears to have been disrupted knowingly, without warning - or apology.
It didn't affect me, but I am not surprised that others are unhappy.