Are Kindle and e-readers spying on your reading habits?

Boy, nothing beats reading right? Reading on your Kindle? You’d say so. But what if big brother’s watching? Yeah, it’s frightening potentially. It’s time to unmask this.

What if you were aware that your Kindle or other e-reader (like the Nook) was spying on what you read, how you read it, and sending this data to market research companies?

Here is some of the information that you could be providing to your e-reader without knowing:

  • “E-reader technology presents significant new threats to reader privacy. E-readers possess the ability to report back substantial information about their users’ reading habits and locations to the corporations that sell them. And yet none of the major e-reader manufacturers have explained to consumers in clear, unequivocal language what data is being collected about them and why,” says the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has collated a guide to the privacy policies of certain e-readers.
  • “Things like battery life and download speeds are collected in order to monitor device performance and continually improve the customer experience – we treat all of our customer data in accordance with our privacy policy,” said in a statement.
  • What’s sad is that it can track what parts you may skip out in reading.
  • According to the Wall Street Journal: “Kindle users sign an agreement granting the company permission to store information from the device—including the last page you’ve read, plus your bookmarks, highlights, notes and annotations—in its data servers.”
  • The EFF publishes an eBook Buyer’s Guide to Privacy. This shows e-readers in terms of their privacy and data collection policies. According to the EFF’s site, it appears that Amazon can share your e-reader data with law enforcement, civil litigants, as well as within other Amazon products.

These privacy problems are likely to continue, and it looks like Amazon among other companies are doing the data collection in secret.


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