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Old 11-13-2012, 05:04 PM   #1
css451
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Kindle paperwhite privacy concerns

I would like to know if anyone has relevant data concerning what kind of instrumentation Amazon implemented on their devices to monitor reading habits of users, content installed, features usages...

I've seen that it got jailbroken and some have root console access. Has anyone tried to decompile executables and see how the actual software running is made?

Has anyone monitored what information is transmitted over the Wifi between your kindle and Amazon servers? Is it all encrypted?

From the persons who manage to get root access to their paperwhite, have you done dumps of the OS that you are willing to share? I have to wait a long time before mine will be delivered...

Thanks for any information
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:46 PM   #2
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Even if Amazon sends logs back to their servers on book titles, etc. there is no reason for it to be encrypted. What possible harm to you could come from someone intercepting a list of the books you've read? Assuming that someone could intercept such a log.

I know that they can pull a log from the Kindle if you are talking to Kindle Support about a problem, but I don't know what all is in it. Nothing I would worry about them knowing, anyway.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:49 PM   #3
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Why do you care? EVERYTHING is monitored by the government including all your email, contacts, etc.

If you are not doing anything wrong, there should be no concerns.

Advertisers monitor our every move on the internet, purchases, etc. and then use that information to place ads which may interest us everywhere we go.

I'm sure Amazon and all other businesses monitor us to some degree to sell us what we may need.

For example, on 10/24/2012 of the most popular 1,000 sites Doubleclick.net tracked 681 sites, Scorecard research.com tracked 475, Adnxs.com tracked 439, Quantserve.com tracked 409, and Admt.com tracked 391 per this link:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/1...it_th_20121113

You have to be registered with the NY Times to read that link.

Last edited by sirmaru; 11-13-2012 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirmaru View Post
Why do you care? EVERYTHING is monitored by the government including all your email, contacts, etc.

If you are not doing anything wrong, there should be no concerns.
I don't even know where to begin to address this. If you think that information has never been used against people who haven't done anything wrong, then you're incredibly naive.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:12 PM   #5
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If you are concerned, there is no need to turn on the WiFi once the device has been registered.

I have a Kindle 3, which never connects to Amazon. I side-load all ebooks from a Windows PC (via Calibre). If you add the 3rd party DRM-stripping plugins to Calibre, this has the side effect of keeping a device independent backup copy of all ebooks on your PC.

With this approach, you do give up access to Amazon's cloud storage for ebooks from your Kindle. All ebooks are on your PC, and all or a subset are on your Kindle.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:52 AM   #6
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As for content on your Kindle, obviously Amazon is aware of books you purchased on Amazon. Other books on your device could have been purchased elsewhere.

If you have ebooks on your Kindle that were obtained illegally and if Amazon had some way of determining this, I doubt very much that they would ever become a police for publishers and report their findings as this would kill Kindle sales.

But yeah, if you're concerned just don't turn on wireless after registration.

Last edited by joehunt; 11-14-2012 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZImmortal View Post
I don't even know where to begin to address this. If you think that information has never been used against people who haven't done anything wrong, then you're incredibly naive.
In a similar vein, read this:
"FBI's abuse of the surveillance state is the real scandal needing investigation
That the stars of America's national security establishment are being devoured by out-of-control surveillance is a form of sweet justice"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ance-state-fbi
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:40 AM   #8
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Great link!

Quote:
Originally Posted by camtosh View Post
In a similar vein, read this:
"FBI's abuse of the surveillance state is the real scandal needing investigation
That the stars of America's national security establishment are being devoured by out-of-control surveillance is a form of sweet justice"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ance-state-fbi
That is a great link and proves my point that Amazon "suveillance" is the least of our problems.

EVERYTHING we do is potentially known to the government. Kindles are NOT THE threat.

Just enjoy your Kindles and ignore all the "threats."
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:39 PM   #9
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What I have heard the computer security industry talk about is amazon does collect some of this information when you check out of the electronic store, they will note which book you buy and increment a counter in the server that counts that book. They use this data to indicate how much they owe an author for their share of the book sales. The server notifies another server that actually writes the check and debits one of the companies bank accounts then mails the check.

There are some amazon servers that will count sales for some lesser known books to see if the company can remove the book from the store to save online space.

However, I have not heard about anyone talking about the sort of snooping that you are talking about.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
If you are concerned, there is no need to turn on the WiFi once the device has been registered.
[...]
With this approach, you do give up access to Amazon's cloud storage for ebooks from your Kindle. All ebooks are on your PC, and all or a subset are on your Kindle.
You also can't use the lending library, right? I think I've read you can only use it from your Kindle.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:25 PM   #11
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You'd also have to have Prime to use the Kindle Owner's Lending Library.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:45 PM   #12
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However, I have not heard about anyone talking about the sort of snooping that you are talking about.
I haven't talked about any specific type of snooping. I don't wear a tin foil hat and I'm sure that most/all of Amazon's traffic is benign. Do I think that what Amazon learns from my Kindle usage is going to negatively affect my life? Definitely not. My point was simply that everyone has a right to privacy in general and that "If you are not doing anything wrong, there should be no concerns" (sirmaru's words) is not an acceptable viewpoint in regards to privacy with any entity. There are plenty of people in the world (past and present) who have done nothing wrong and who have been segregated/punished/persecuted/etc for their private beliefs or information, and simply dismissing the value of your privacy is a slippery slope that only invites companies/governments/etc to keep encroaching.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css451 View Post
I would like to know if anyone has relevant data concerning what kind of instrumentation Amazon implemented on their devices to monitor reading habits of users, content installed, features usages...

I've seen that it got jailbroken and some have root console access. Has anyone tried to decompile executables and see how the actual software running is made?

Has anyone monitored what information is transmitted over the Wifi between your kindle and Amazon servers? Is it all encrypted?

From the persons who manage to get root access to their paperwhite, have you done dumps of the OS that you are willing to share? I have to wait a long time before mine will be delivered...

Thanks for any information
css451
Actually, somebody here has done this. I remember reading the results a couple of years ago. I can't be positive, but I believe it was a regular poster who is still here so may comment on this. Trying searching some different terms for the original thread.

Personally, I couldn't care less who knows what about me, but I know it matters to some.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:44 PM   #14
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If memory serves me right, when Clarence Thomas was being scrutinized for the Supreme Court, an issue arose because rental records from a video store showed he had rented pornographic material.

I am fairly convinced the list of readings, websites, magazines, newspapers we read is being stored and is accessible and accessed by government agencies. I remember some article not long ago about how many bookstores had been required to hand over information on credit-card purchases under the Patriot Act.... and the number had lots of zeros after it.

Yes, I think it is safe to assume Amazon can see what's on your Kindle. And yes, I think it's necessary to assume that some agency can access that.

Could it be used to track pirating? Why not? I mean, when I went to college, we all thought using Napster over a school's network was fine because that info was never going to be handed over. Then lots of people got bills from RIAA, threatening lawsuits. Would this be so different?

I do also think honest individuals run the risk of being hurt by government agencies. It happens. Here (in the US) less than in most of the rest of the world. To the point that it is a very, very, unlikely event. Some people walk around with gloves and face-masks not to get Ebola. Same thing. Are they correct in saying that it's possible to get Ebola? Yes. We still deem them 'insane'. Because we realize that some risk is a fact of life. And that some risks have to be ignored. Otherwise, you stop eating because your food might be poisoned, and starve.

Just my 2cp.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:55 AM   #15
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You'd also have to have Prime to use the Kindle Owner's Lending Library.
True, but in Germany Prime is rather cheap (although it also comes with far fewer benefits.. slightly faster shipping in some cases, cheaper express shipping and free shipping for orders below 20€, that's it, besides the newly introduced lending library). And it's only 15€ per year for students (29€ for non-students).
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