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Old 10-11-2010, 01:35 AM   #1
guiyoforward
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Kindle and privacy - Amazon keeps files sent to @free.kindle.com (but says it doesnt)

Hi everyone, I'm not someone who gets very concerned about privacy issues (though those people deserve all my respect!) but I keep bumping into slightly inapproapriate (and potentially creepy) "features" from Amazon.
When you send a file for conversion to your @free.kindle.com account, Amazon states that "Personal documents you transfer to your Kindle are not backed up at Amazon.com", but then it sends you an email announcing that the file has been sent to the Kindle with a link to that file to download from Amazon's site at any later time.
This might be convenient, but:
a) No way to opt out - no "send and delete" option
b) No way to review or delete later on - not even a way to find in your kindle account these somehow-stored-but-not-officially-backed-up files.
I tried de-registering my Kindle, and the file was still there to be downloaded from the Amazon link.
The "Personal documents you transfer to your Kindle are not backed up at Amazon.com" is at least misleading, and potentially much worse.
Any thoughts or experience on this?
Thanks
g.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:42 AM   #2
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I'm not concerned. If you are, then I suggest calling customer service and trying to get some clarification on the issue.

I tried re-downloading files from 10/20/09 and 10/30/09, and both failed with "We're sorry, this title is not currently available for download" message. so they do seem to drop off in time. My guess is they give you 30 days to retrieve your document before they delete it.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:04 AM   #3
guiyoforward
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Well, after the 1984 disaster I thought they would be more transparent...
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:11 AM   #4
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Once again, anytime you work on a device that has unrestricted access to outside servers, you need to assume that everything that you have on the thing is archived and stored. Whether or not it will ever be looked at is another matter. They may just hold onto it for 30 days. Then again, storage is cheap and .pdf files are usually small, so they may keep it a lot longer.

I bet amazon loves having copies of some high powered buisness types docs that they email to their kindle without a second thought. Corporate espionage is made easy when your competitors send their docs to you!
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:13 AM   #5
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If you care about keeping a file private you would be much better served by not sending it to Amazon at all. Use Calibre or a similar program to convert and move it over yourself.

I believe that the message "the personal documents are not backed up ....blah blah blah" is simply meant to signify to you that Amazon is not a back-up service for your personal documents. That does not mean there will not be random copies of your files floating around out there on various Amazon computers.

Just as with email - if it passes through there is a very good chance that somewhere along the way a copy of that email has been stored on your ISPs computers.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:13 AM   #6
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Is this a troll or something? If this document is that secret then why are you insecurely emailing it to Amazon for conversion and delivery? The converted file does eventually get purged from the Amazon system. It isn't there forever. Sending it to Amazon for conversion means they need to read and process the document.

According to your info, you've got a Kindle DX Graphite so it doesn't have WiFi. The conversion service can only deliver via 3G but you're using @free.kindle.com so the only route left is to email you with a link to download the file. Amazon keep the file there for a short period of time because people may want to redownload it and to save the user and Amazon from having to reconvert.

Use Calibre as abookreader suggested if you want to do your own conversion of documents.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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Hello

I allready made a thread a while ago with my concerns about privacy and things like that.

Read this:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93706


Of course they track you, so they can send you more accurate adversment and use your data for all kind of things, like they allready do.

You can see for yourself, just go to www.amazon.com (or other amazon.xxx) and see what the screen looks like, isn't it exactly what you are looking for or really want to have?

There are some reports of people, who buyd some critical books about america from amazon and when they went to america for holiday, they couldn't pass the border and they where send back to their country without any serious explanations for them, just people like you and me, that never did any serious harm. But it is obvious they work with all kind of intelligence together.

Just think about that..

And you really feel save using their most sold e-reader device without any modifications?
If they know what you read, they know what you think..!
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
There are some reports of people, who buyd some critical books about america from amazon and when they went to america for holiday, they couldn't pass the border and they where send back to their country without any serious explanations for them, just people like you and me, that never did any serious harm. But it is obvious they work with all kind of intelligence together.
You're not seriously suggesting that there's a connection between an Amazon purchase and a border/customs incident, are you? I'm all for a little innocent paranoia, but c'mon.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:16 AM   #9
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Just assume all companies are using all your data to maximize their profits and will fork over your info when the FBI comes knocking, with or without a warrant, and you won't be disappointed.

Personally, I'm not overly concerned b/c despite all this tracking they still know squat about me. I keep getting ads for women's shoes b/c my sister used my PC once to browse Amazon. And yeah I'm totally into Nora Roberts. Duh.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achiever View Post
And you really feel save using their most sold e-reader device without any modifications?
If they know what you read, they know what you think..!
The Amazon Kindle (and the Amazon site) is a completely voluntary opt-in product. Nobody is forced to shop from Amazon and nobody is forced to buy Kindle books. Amazon not only knows "what I read." They have years of data stored on me, stretching back far earlier than the Kindle. They know all my past addresses. They know what brand of shampoo I use. They know my clothing sizes and what shade of Feria Hair dye I use. They know all this because I have chosen to conduct my business with them. I choose to be their customer.

If you for some reason feel unsafe having your reading habits openly available to the Amazon retailer, then you need to do something other than read on a Kindle and buy books from Amazon. Keep the wireless off 100% of the time or buy another brand that doesn't have 3G and WiFi. Or get to your local bookstore and purchase anonymously using cash only.

Amazon makes no secret of the fact that they can connect to your Kindle.

It really is that simple.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Achiever View Post
There are some reports of people, who buyd some critical books about america from amazon and when they went to america for holiday, they couldn't pass the border and they where send back to their country without any serious explanations for them, just people like you and me, that never did any serious harm. But it is obvious they work with all kind of intelligence together.
Care to give us a link so that we (or at least I) can check out this story?
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Achiever View Post
There are some reports of people, who buyd some critical books about america from amazon and when they went to america for holiday, they couldn't pass the border and they where send back to their country without any serious explanations for them, just people like you and me, that never did any serious harm. But it is obvious they work with all kind of intelligence together.
If they weren't given any 'serious explanations,' how did they figure out it was their Amazon purchases that got them flagged?
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:25 PM   #13
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I could maybe see if China, or some other restrictive country, would not want books critical of their government entering the country, but it seems odd that a Customs inspector would bother going through all the books on someone's Kindle.

I sincerely doubt that that would happen in America, because it is very common for people to criticize the government (the daily newspaper certainly does).

There are certainly people that are not allowed in the country, but I doubt it has anything to do with a book.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:30 PM   #14
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Care to give us a link so that we (or at least I) can check out this story?
Exactly.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:56 PM   #15
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I could maybe see if China, or some other restrictive country, would not want books critical of their government entering the country, but it seems odd that a Customs inspector would bother going through all the books on someone's Kindle.

I sincerely doubt that that would happen in America, because it is very common for people to criticize the government (the daily newspaper certainly does).

There are certainly people that are not allowed in the country, but I doubt it has anything to do with a book.
While all that is very true, it is also true that America has become a much more restricted area after 9/11. Understandably so, but for those of us who are not Americans it becomes tedious to have our shoes checked every time we have to switch flights. Not even in the U.S.S.R. did I ever experience something like that.
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