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Old 09-03-2010, 05:03 AM   #1
toby39
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How does Amazon know what's on my Kindle?

And how do I prevent it?

Is this related to the format I use for ebooks? Would it matter if I used txt instead of mobi files or do they really check the whole content of the Kindle as soon as I turn the wireless connection on? What if my books hava no metadata? would it matter?

I'm not really comfortable with amazon looking over my shoulder and getting these informations.

F.e. I do have some Fanfiction from years ago which at this time was free. Meanwhile it has been published on amazon. So if Amazon was reading the content on my Kindle it would see that I haven't purchased this book from them? But it's the same with any books from sources other than amazon.

Has anyone more information on how and what exactly they are getting from my kindle?

Last edited by toby39; 09-03-2010 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:05 AM   #2
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F.e. I do have some Fanfiction from years ago which at this time was free. Meanwhile it has been published on amazon. So if Amazon was reading the content on my Kindle it would see that I haven't purchased this book from them? But it's the same with any books from sources other than amazon.
I am in the same situation. I have 639 fanfiction books on my Kindle.

But I would think that as they don't have a ISIN number I can't see how Amazon would know what they were other than a personal document? Hopefully someone will come along and clarify it for us
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:14 AM   #3
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Amazon don't stipulate that you have to only purchase their content. The Kindle supports a number of file formats and Amazon support you putting your own personal files on the Kindle.

If you are that concerned with Amazon being able to detect your reading matter then simply don't connect to wifi or 3G. That way you can keep it truly private.

I think there's another thread in this forum discussing what it is that Amazon uses to identify ebooks.

Here we are: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88432

Last edited by TheKindleWorm; 09-03-2010 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by TheKindleWorm View Post
If you are that concerned with Amazon being able to detect your reading matter then simply don't connect to wifi or 3G. That way you can keep it truly private.

I think there's another thread in this forum discussing what it is that Amazon uses to identify ebooks.

Here we are: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88432

I read the thread before posting because it doesn't really answer my question. And turning off wireless permanently isn't really a solution since I want do download books and use the browser.

The thing I'm concerned about is that Amazon can see the content of my Kindle, where there are books only they sell but which I haven't bought from them. Reason is, they were free years ago. But I don't want to get my account closed or legal issues so I want to know what and how they check my content, bookmarks etc.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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If they were free at one point but not now then what is there to worry about? If anybody ever asks then just point out that they were free at so and so point in time.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:58 AM   #6
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You'd think they'd be on top of privacy concerns. This is the reason why a lot of people won't purchase e-readers - they are paranoid and prefer not to be monitored.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toby39 View Post
I read the thread before posting because it doesn't really answer my question. And turning off wireless permanently isn't really a solution since I want do download books and use the browser.

The thing I'm concerned about is that Amazon can see the content of my Kindle, where there are books only they sell but which I haven't bought from them. Reason is, they were free years ago. But I don't want to get my account closed or legal issues so I want to know what and how they check my content, bookmarks etc.
No, you're not going to get in trouble for having your Darknet books on there. Relax.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:06 AM   #8
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If you don't want to be monitored then never connect your Kindle to WiFi or 3G but you'll lose the ability to sync books directly and the browser.

If you download and purchase books then they'll know what you're buying so they already have more information about you. You can download the books to your PC and then copy them over to your Kindle manually so they'll never find out what is actually on your Kindle excluding the items you purchased from them.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:25 AM   #9
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I may be very naive here but surely if I have 660 books on my Kindle and only 21 came from Amazon, and of the rest 600 of them are not published books (i.e fanfiction PDF's and word docs converted to MOBI using Calibre) how can Amazon know anything about them other than recognise that I have 600 personal documents?

I am not worried about them knowing any of this, just curious.

Also could they know anything about the ebooks purchased from other sites? I bought the Kindle eqivalent file, so MOBI or PRC, and loaded them via Calibre

I will be syncing via wifi and 3G, just for downloading anything I buy from Amazon.

Again I am not concerned, as everything I have is legal, just more curious than anything else

Last edited by Josieb1; 09-03-2010 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:27 AM   #10
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You'd think they'd be on top of privacy concerns. This is the reason why a lot of people won't purchase e-readers - they are paranoid and prefer not to be monitored.
I don't see what all the fuss is about. Microsoft sends information about your PC back to them yet no-one lifts an eyelid when it comes to installing pirated software. Amazon are there to provide a service to you by selling ebooks, not policing the reading archive of all Kindle owners in attempt to find copyright infringement.

At the end of the day if you are that worried and want to keep wireless on, change the title of the ebook. It's not like Amazon are taking complete copies of ebooks people have put on their Kindles themselves.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Josieb1 View Post
I may be very naive here but surely if I have 660 books on my Kindle and only 21 came from Amazon, and of the rest 600 of them are not published books (i.e fanfiction PDF's and word docs converted to MOBI using Calibre) how can Amazon know anything about them other than recognise that I have 600 personal documents?
The title if anything but I've never heard of Amazon doing anything with this data if they even collect it. In theory they could generate some sort of unique hash value from the contents but thats a lot of work for no reason. I've looked at the Kindle TOS and it doesn't mention anything about data collection of your personal documents.

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Also could they know anything about the ebooks purchased from other sites? I bought the Kindle eqivalent file, so MOBI or PRC, and loaded them via Calibre
They allow you to buy from other stores and to load your personal documents so they're not going to care. If they did care then they'd lock down the Kindle so you can't do it.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:31 AM   #12
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I don't see what all the fuss is about. Microsoft sends information about your PC back to them yet no-one lifts an eyelid when it comes to installing pirated software. Amazon are there to provide a service to you by selling ebooks, not policing the reading archive of all Kindle owners in attempt to find copyright infringement.
And google, think how much information they must store about where we all surf. Its quite scarey really, the days of privacy have long gone
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:37 AM   #13
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Microsoft sends information about your PC back to them yet no-one lifts an eyelid when it comes to installing pirated software.
The information is restricted to what is absolutely necessary and it will also prompt before sending it. You have the option of saying no and you can view the information if you know how.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:56 AM   #14
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As I understand it, the only books that Amazon knows about are the books you buy from Amazon. Those are the ones listed in your archive and on your account.

Maybe I am being naive and chosing to ignore that Amazon could potentially learn what else I have put on my Kindle. If that is the case, then this really is a question for all e-readers.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:47 AM   #15
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The information is restricted to what is absolutely necessary and it will also prompt before sending it. You have the option of saying no and you can view the information if you know how.
Unless they decide violate their ToS and send information without notifying you. They're working at the OS level. They can definitely do that. They likely don't because the PR fallout would be absolutely huge for the small benefit they would get out of it. Same with Amazon. They could look at all my documents but if it got out that they were doing that, it would make their 1984 fiasco look like nothing. All it would take would be one employee leaking it to a blog. I doubt they're that stupid.
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