Thursday, November 29, 2012

EFF Demystifies E-Book Readers Data Tracking

The EFF just posted a great breakdown of various E-book readers and their tracking/data collection policies. This summary addresses items such as:

Can they (the manufacturer) keep track of searches for books?
Do they keep a record of book purchases?  
With whom can they share the information collected in non-aggregated form?

I certainly commend the EFF for pulling together this information.  However, I'd really like to see user and industry expectations progress to the point where this kind of data is considered a requirement and is clearly provided by the manufacturer whenever  an e-book reader is launched.

From the article
Unfortunately, unpacking the tracking and data-sharing practices of different e-reader platforms is far from simple. It can require reading through stacked license agreements and privacy policies for devices, software platforms, and e-book stores.
Lastly, data rights on e-book readers is not just a topic for privacy enthusiasts. We've seen real world actions that are surprising to say the least.   For example, the 2009 incident where Amazon suddenly removed George Orwell's "1984" and "animal farm" from many users' kindle devices. 

-Michael Coates - @_mwc