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'Big e-reader is watching you'

For discussion about electronic reading devices and related issues (pricing, formatting, accessories, comparisons, etc.)
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J.D. Oswald
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Joined: May 2012

'Big e-reader is watching you'

Post by J.D. Oswald » Wed July 18th, 2012, 8:25 am

I thought this article was interesting, both in terms of the information that publishers/authors might be able to collect from e-book readers, and the privacy issues that this raises.
I had a look at the Kindle license agreement - in clause 4, it says 'The Software will also provide Amazon with information related to the Digital Content on your Kindle and Other Devices and your use of it (such as last page read and content archiving)...Any information we receive is subject to the Amazon.com privacy notice located at http://www.amazon.com/privacy.' So not particularly explicit.
Does anyone have any experience of this/views?

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Mythica
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Preferred HF: European and American (mostly pre-20th century)
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Post by Mythica » Wed July 18th, 2012, 11:08 am

Well, if they weren't collecting that information I wouldn't be able to open a book on a different device and have it can go straight to the last page I was on. Or access all my highlights and notes at kindle.amazon.com. If it really makes someone uncomfortable, they can keep their wifi off.

As far as using that data for demographics - people do realize that televisions report similar statistics, right? As long as the demographics are complied and used anonymously, it doesn't bother me.

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sweetpotatoboy
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Location: London, UK

Post by sweetpotatoboy » Wed July 18th, 2012, 1:14 pm

I think this is just reminding everyone that the minute you do something 'online', your activity is tracked - though hopefully in aggregated and anonymous form. We knew this already about internet and email; I guess many people hadn't twigged yet that this affected e-reading too.

What the article touches on that's possibly more interesting is the issue of how authors respond to knowing more about reader activity on their books. Will they start to write according to reader preference (putting the readers in control) or continue to write as they wish to (keeping the writers in control)?

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