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Old 10-08-2014, 07:27 AM   #1
Rizla
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Does Amazon Spy on Users?

At the moment there is some controversy about Adobe scanning user's books and sending the information back to Adobe, all without users' permission. So I was wondering: Does Amazon do this? I mean specifically on their Kindle / Fire devices?
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Old 10-08-2014, 08:22 AM   #2
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I don't know if you would call it spying or not, but I guess to be able to synchronize between devices, Amazon would need to track your reading progress.

Last edited by joehunt; 10-08-2014 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 10-08-2014, 08:43 AM   #3
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I don't know if you would call it spying or not, but I guess to be able to synchronize between devices, Amazon would need to track your reading progress.
I think they only do that for books purchased from them.
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:01 AM   #4
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I'm talking about scanning and reporting the names / titles, etc of all books on your Kindle, including books not purchased from Amazon.
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:03 AM   #5
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Nobody really knows. The logs that the various devices accrue are full of lots of info about the books you're reading, the cell towers you were connected to while reading (if you have 3g of course), DRM status, and more. But the encrypted "phone home" packets that have been captured and sniffed over the years have been of a size that most have agreed aren't really large enough to transmit that data (even in pieces). They're basically keep-alive-ping sized. It's more likely that the logs are available to CS personnel when they obtain permission to "access" your device for trouble-shooting purposes.

I'm not trying to give them a free pass or anything, there's stuff being logged that could certainly be contrued as privacy-violating in nature. It's just that while I have no trouble believing they have the technological capability to gather the data they're logging, I've seen no evidence that it's actually being done. Make of it what you will.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 10-08-2014 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:08 AM   #6
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Given that I don't even use the wifi on my Kindle, they'd have a hard time getting the logs anyway
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Nobody really knows. The logs that the various devices accrue is full of lots of info about the books you're reading, the cell towers you were connected to while reading (if you have 3g of course), DRM status, and more. But the encrypted "phone home" packets that have been captured and sniffed over the years have been of a size that most have agreed aren't really large enough to transmit that data (even in pieces). They're basically keep-alive-ping sized. It's more likely that the logs are available to CS personnel when they obtain permission to "access" your device for trouble-shooting purposes.

I'm not trying to give them a free pass or anything, there's stuff being logged that could certainly be contrued as privacy-violating in nature. It's just that while I have no trouble believing they have the technological capability to gather the data they're logging, I've seen no evidence that it's actually being done. Make of it what you will.
This is the kind of thing which would be easy for a security researcher to check, and I have not heard of any news reports about it.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:33 AM   #8
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I think they only do that for books purchased from them.
Also books you upload to them, but that is basically the same thing.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:51 AM   #9
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This is the kind of thing which would be easy for a security researcher to check, and I have not heard of any news reports about it.
I'm confused. Reports about what? The fact that the logs are generated is common knowledge--you can read them yourself. There's plenty of info in the dev section that will show you where the logs are.

Or are you agreeing with me that it doesn't seem likely that the logs are being transmitted to Amazon servers?

Or questioning that CS has asked customers for permission to access their devices for diagnostic purposes?

I'm not supporting or excoriating Amazon here (or Adobe for that matter). Just pointing out things that I know to be true (with the exception of the speculation that CS may use those logs for diagnostic purposes).

Last edited by DiapDealer; 10-08-2014 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:53 AM   #10
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Amazon? No way!!! They are the most honest people on Earth Ask Linn Nygaard.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:13 AM   #11
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For books you buy from Amazon, they definitely track which books you've read, how far you got, etc. And they do report this information back to the publisher of the book. I mean, maybe not you in particular, but in the aggregate.
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:50 PM   #12
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Who Cares I don't Spy away! But if they do they do a poor job with the Recomedations they send to me )
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:29 PM   #13
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Amazon? No way!!! They are the most honest people on Earth Ask Linn Nygaard.
It could well be argued that that is exactly why they are honest.

And how precisely does this have anything to do with them possibly doing an Adobe and scanning your Kindle for books they never sold you?

Red Herring.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:39 PM   #14
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They might be spying. My Kindle Paperwhite was on a shelf in the bathroom and as I got out of the shower I had the strangest feeling that it was...watching me.
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:15 PM   #15
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