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Old 08-20-2010, 04:32 PM   #1
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Reader privacy

Something I wonder about - Amazon has proved, by deleting books from customer's Kindles, that they are entirely capable of downloading the titles of your reader library. I am 100% confident that Apple can do the same, and indeed, so can the makers of any device that "features" cell phone network.

Librarians have fought hard to protect patron's privacy of their reading habits - a court order is required to secure this information from a public library. Yet Amazon can read out your Kindle at any moment it is on and in range of a cell network. AND THEY HAVE PROVEN THAT THEY DO! And that without a court order.

Personal Computers have firewalls to protect the privacy of your files; ebook readers do not. If you contemplate reading confidential business documents on your reader, or read material that for any reason you do not want others to know about, it seems obvious you should avoid a Kindle or an Ipad like the plague. Many of the Sony models are safe, in that they can only accept books or other material from your computer. Others may be as well.

If you own a Kindle or an iPad, you are never safe - any time you go on to the cell network to download a book you also invite an upload of your contents.

If you value your privacy think hard about this.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:43 PM   #2
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One reason why I don't want an e-Book reader with WiFi or 3G.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:29 PM   #3
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We've had this discussion a dozen times I think. I'm not concerned, at all.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:40 PM   #4
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Argh, Amazon made a mistake with 1984, they admitted it and paid the price. It is over and done with. Myself personally with my new Kindle coming, what are Amazon going to (if they do at all) take from my Kindle? The list of ebooks I have on there? Great, so what are they going to do with the data from one Kindle that lists 50+ Baen ebooks and 20+ public domain? What are they going to do with data that says I read for 2 hours a day?

Now if they were accessing personal data like date of birth, family, financial figures etc I'd be worried, but when it comes to what ebooks I have and am reading I'll tell anyone who asks me anyway.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:43 PM   #5
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If I put confidential business documents on any device not blessed and controlled by my IT department I would be risking termination.

Edit:

That said, any software you install on a computer with a network connection has the ability to snoop on you. At some point you make the decision to trust in their privacy policies and the eyes of many on these corporations. Real Networks got massively bad PR for doing that back in the day. Sony's rootkit debacle was legendary.

Last edited by Alisa; 08-20-2010 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:51 PM   #6
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Amazon also has your credit card and purchase history, are you worried about that, too?
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:53 PM   #7
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Why would Amazon need to read the contents of a person's Kindle to determine if they had bought a book like the infamous "1984" from them? They already have a record of your purchases.

Feel free to be paranoid if you want, but using your line of reasoning you should also be worried about Sony reading the contents of your PRS-505 whenever you connect it to a computer that has an internet connection. Connectivity is connectivity, whether it's over a 3G network or an internet connection.
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:08 AM   #8
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Again, no WiFi, no 3G, no worries. My computer has a two way firewall so I'm not worried about too much, if any, snooping going on there.
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:18 AM   #9
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Again, no WiFi, no 3G, no worries. My computer has a two way firewall so I'm not worried about too much, if any, snooping going on there.
Your firewall doesn't prevent your computer from initiating a connection from an installed application. It doesn't know whether you authorized it or not.
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:35 AM   #10
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Your firewall doesn't prevent your computer from initiating a connection from an installed application. It doesn't know whether you authorized it or not.
My firewall does. I'm using ZoneAlarm. I have it set to authorize only certain apps to phone home. All others need my permission. The chances of something getting out past that is somewhere between fat and slim. Add Spybot S&D's Teatimer and Avast AV, I very rarely find any malware with my weekly AV and malware scans. I also use Secunia PSI to make sure all my software is up to date. That is one heckuva a lot better than an e-Book's unsecured connection.

Last edited by Lady Fitzgerald; 08-21-2010 at 02:38 AM.
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:37 PM   #11
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My firewall does. I'm using ZoneAlarm. I have it set to authorize only certain apps to phone home. All others need my permission. The chances of something getting out past that is somewhere between fat and slim. Add Spybot S&D's Teatimer and Avast AV, I very rarely find any malware with my weekly AV and malware scans. I also use Secunia PSI to make sure all my software is up to date. That is one heckuva a lot better than an e-Book's unsecured connection.
So if an application you thought was trustworthy started calling sending your private data, it would get through. That is the point I'm trying to make here. We choose to allow applications access to our networks because we have some amount of confidence in the companies behind them. In the case of something which installs a rootkit, like Sony did on some of their media disks a few years ago, the firewall is irrelevant. The rootkit runs at the highest level of permissions and hides its presence from you.
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:44 PM   #12
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:46 PM   #13
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So if an application you thought was trustworthy started calling sending your private data, it would get through. That is the point I'm trying to make here. We choose to allow applications access to our networks because we have some amount of confidence in the companies behind them. In the case of something which installs a rootkit, like Sony did on some of their media disks a few years ago, the firewall is irrelevant. The rootkit runs at the highest level of permissions and hides its presence from you.
True but there are damned few apps I trust, none of which include commercial sites. Detecting most rookits is not that difficult (getting rid of them is another story). There is always a certain amount of risk involved when using the internet but proper protection can reduce it to an acceptable level. E-book readers, on the other hand, have NO protection whatsoever. It's open season with no limits on anything on them if you have WiFi and/or 3G.

Last edited by Lady Fitzgerald; 08-21-2010 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:07 PM   #14
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Amazon also has your credit card and purchase history, are you worried about that, too?
Worried? Not particularly.

But cognizant that bad things can be done with that data, should it fall into the wrong hands? Yes.

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Old 08-21-2010, 06:38 PM   #15
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Worried? Not particularly.

But cognizant that bad things can be done with that data, should it fall into the wrong hands? Yes.

R.
==
Well there's no point in worrying about what could happen if it hasn't....

Could I get struck by a car when I leave my house tomorrow morning? Yeah, but I still have to go out.

There's a certain amount of trust you have to have with companies, and if you don't have that then, well you shouldn't be doing any kind of business with them. Someone on the forums here said that at the very least, you should trust in a company's fear of getting caught, if nothing else.
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