It's no secret that Amazon and other digital book retailers track and store consumer information detailing what books are purchased and read. 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.That's right--everything from where you highlighted to what kind of notes you scribbled along. Aren't you thrilled! Not just Amazon, but any e-book version (ht).
Book apps for tablets like the iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook record how many times readers open the app and how much time they spend reading. Retailers and some publishers are beginning to sift through the data, gaining unprecedented insight into how people engage with books.Downright creepy!
Some privacy watchdogs argue that e-book users should be protected from having their digital reading habits recorded. "There's a societal ideal that what you read is nobody else's business," says Cindy Cohn, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates for consumer rights and privacy. "Right now, there's no way for you to tell Amazon, I want to buy your books, but I don't want you to track what I'm reading."I am shocked, shocked, that Amazon declined to comment :)
Amazon declined to comment on how it analyzes and uses the Kindle data it gathers.
EFF has pressed for legislation to prevent digital book retailers from handing over information about individuals' reading habits as evidence to law enforcement agencies without a court's approval. Earlier this year, California instituted the "reader privacy act," which makes it more difficult for law-enforcement groups to gain access to consumers' digital reading records. Under the new law, agencies must get a court order before they can require digital booksellers to turn over information revealing which books their customers have browsed, purchased, read and underlined. The American Civil Liberties Union and EFF, which partnered with Google and other organizations to push for the legislation, are now seeking to enact similar laws in other states.Oh well ... between all these gadgets, Facebook, and the government, and all the security cameras all over the place, the only thing that is a secret for now is when exactly I shit. I am sure that soon the toilet manufacturers will come up with a smart toilet that might even give me a digital examination, in more ways than one, when I am on the mighty throne!