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Old 10-29-2012, 02:38 AM   #1
rwhe
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Kobo and privacy laws

I have often read in these forums that, because of Canadian privacy law, Kobo tracks only what kepubs you have on your device, and doesn't even know what ebooks you have sideloaded onto your device.

However, I have never seen this substantiated. Which privacy laws in Canada prevent Kobo from tracking your sideloaded ebooks?

A little reflection shows that it's unlikely the "Kobo ecosystem" is entirely unaware of your sideloaded ebooks. For example, Reading Life detects how many pages you've read in them.

On the other hand, this information does not seem to be preserved on Kobo's servers, or else it would probably be restored after it's been deleted, for example, during a factory reset.

So where does the truth live? Thanks.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:12 AM   #2
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The Truth lives just North of The Bottom Line and just West of Survival, on the opposite side of the Situational Ethics Building... or was that The Question? I always get those somewhat obscure heroes mixed up.

I suspect their uploading or in any way observing just what you're reading, beyond the normal accounting of what books are bought from them, would be a gross violation of established privacy laws, not to mention a corporate suicide... then again, anything is possible and if they only maintained a general count of what is being read by how many people and made no attempt to associate that count with anyone's identity why would most people care? Similar marketing data is collected every day -likely more often than any of us realize. Better to assume there is no such thing as privacy and plan accordingly... say registering your device as belonging to whatever government figure has annoyed you the most before you download that Fifty Shades stuff.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:40 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rwhe View Post
I have often read in these forums that, because of Canadian privacy law, Kobo tracks only what kepubs you have on your device, and doesn't even know what ebooks you have sideloaded onto your device.

However, I have never seen this substantiated. Which privacy laws in Canada prevent Kobo from tracking your sideloaded ebooks?

A little reflection shows that it's unlikely the "Kobo ecosystem" is entirely unaware of your sideloaded ebooks. For example, Reading Life detects how many pages you've read in them.

On the other hand, this information does not seem to be preserved on Kobo's servers, or else it would probably be restored after it's been deleted, for example, during a factory reset.

So where does the truth live? Thanks.
I think your answers lie in PIPEDA and the terms you agree to in the EULA - and I am not going to check through both to get a definative answer as anything I really don;t want anyone to know I am reading I won't hold in electronic form. Not that I am reading anything subversive. That I will admit to...

Reagardless, according to PIPEDA, a commercial organization can't track any information about you, unless it is required for the transaction to take place (so, you can't really buy a book without disclosing what book you want, and since the publisher will want to be paid, Kobo will need to keep auditable records of the transaction) and you must give your consent for information to be collected otherwise (so you need to read the EULA to see if you consented to side-loaded books being tracked). The penalties are sufficient that companies in Canada take PIPEDA seriously.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:53 PM   #4
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I think your answers lie in PIPEDA and the terms you agree to in the EULA - and I am not going to check through both to get a definative answer as anything I really don;t want anyone to know I am reading I won't hold in electronic form. Not that I am reading anything subversive. That I will admit to...

Reagardless, according to PIPEDA, a commercial organization can't track any information about you, unless it is required for the transaction to take place (so, you can't really buy a book without disclosing what book you want, and since the publisher will want to be paid, Kobo will need to keep auditable records of the transaction) and you must give your consent for information to be collected otherwise (so you need to read the EULA to see if you consented to side-loaded books being tracked). The penalties are sufficient that companies in Canada take PIPEDA seriously.
Thank you. This is very useful. I look forward to your research, but this may be enough to get me started.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TechniSol View Post
The Truth lives just North of The Bottom Line and just West of Survival, on the opposite side of the Situational Ethics Building... or was that The Question? I always get those somewhat obscure heroes mixed up.
This is a very good answer! Previously, I had only heard it was Out There...
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:18 PM   #6
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As far as I'm concerned I don't trust ANY corporation when it comes to anything that is in the direct interest of the consumer. I think we are tracked in our daily lives in much more ways than we realize.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:10 PM   #7
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As far as I'm concerned I don't trust ANY corporation when it comes to anything that is in the direct interest of the consumer. I think we are tracked in our daily lives in much more ways than we realize.
I really don't believe the gnomes of Zurich have any real interest in the vast majority of people; just a select few. And if you think you are one of them, you may have a problem.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:50 PM   #8
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I really don't believe the gnomes of Zurich have any real interest in the vast majority of people; just a select few. And if you think you are one of them, you may have a problem.
Gah, I hate those little guys. They keep stealing my underwear and everytime I put my kobo to sleep and turn my back on it they change the page I am on. I won't even get into the weird barking fits my dog goes into in the middle of the night because those blasted gnomes are sneaking around the house.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:10 AM   #9
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I really don't believe the gnomes of Zurich have any real interest in the vast majority of people; just a select few. And if you think you are one of them, you may have a problem.
The Gnomes of Zurich are the lesser Illuminati. The ones you have to watch out for are really the UFOs, fnord, and especially the Discordian Society.

Last edited by rwhe; 10-30-2012 at 01:10 AM. Reason: fnord
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:22 AM   #10
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I think I'll go in a lot of google researches as I don't even know those people (Gnomes of Zurich, fnord and discordian society, though I've at least heard of UFOs ). Definitely, I lack a lot of civilisation
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:06 AM   #11
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The Gnomes of Zurich are the lesser Illuminati. The ones you have to watch out for are really the UFOs, fnord, and especially the Discordian Society.
Bah. They're all pikers compared to the Church of the SubGenius with their Orbital Mind Control Lasers (Hail "Bob"!). [edit: Ugh! Just checked and saw that Illuminati costs $35 these days. Man, I miss the old pocket box editions of that, OGRE, and Car Wars... :[
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:55 AM   #12
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The Gnomes of Zurich are the lesser Illuminati.
Does this mean they're dimmer? or just dimwits?
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:34 AM   #13
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Doesn't Kobo store things like annotations on your books to your account, even for normal epubs?
That would mean the info is uploaded to their servers...
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:26 AM   #14
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Bah. They're all pikers compared to the Church of the SubGenius with their Orbital Mind Control Lasers (Hail "Bob"!). [edit: Ugh! Just checked and saw that Illuminati costs $35 these days. Man, I miss the old pocket box editions of that, OGRE, and Car Wars... :[
Well met! I kind of wish they'd release the pocket box edition as a print-and-play teaser for whatever version they're flogging these days.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:37 AM   #15
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Doesn't Kobo store things like annotations on your books to your account, even for normal epubs?
That would mean the info is uploaded to their servers...
I'm pretty sure they don't store annotations to sideloaded epubs on the server. For one thing, I've read that they don't many times in these forums, from credible sources (of course, you should probably take that with some salt). For another thing, annotations to sideloaded epubs are one of the first things to disappear whenever something significant happens, like a factory reset, logging out in recent versions of the firmware, etc.

You'd think if they were storing annotations on the server, they'd restore them after something wiped them out -- it would make their customers happier. Same with Reading Life and so on. But all this information is very ephemeral, which makes me think it's only stored locally.
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