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Old 08-05-2015, 12:12 PM   #31
Calenorn
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Either I'm missing the point, or this whole conversation feels a bit like a tempest in a teapot.

Everybody seems to be ignoring what I thought was the important point in that announcement: Selected readers receive a complimentary ebook (ARC) prior to publication date... So they are in fact, paying you for your data. Also, it seems to be something that would be used before proper release of major book to enable better marketing. Not something that would be stuck into every book sold, willy nilly.

I'm assuming nobody on here uses Facebook, GoodReads, Amazon, Gmail or a cell phone of any type?
Then there's this:

http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/0...cy-guidelines/

Similar 'tempest.' Much bigger 'teapot.' Part of the larger issue.

And, really, why wouldn't a vendor collect such data 'willy nilly,' if they could? What's to stop them if individuals don't opt out?
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:31 PM   #32
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And, really, why wouldn't a vendor collect such data 'willy nilly,' if they could? What's to stop them if individuals don't opt out?
Well, there's this (taken from the comment section, but written by the author of the article in the OP):

"The technology has been and continuous to be used exclusively in Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) and complimentary review copies, but instead of being asked to write a review, the recipient of the free book is asked to share their reading data.

The volunteer gets a free ebook in exchange for promising to share their data (though they cannot be forced to share that data and their active participation sis till require or the data remains locked up in the reading app)."


In the end, I'm not pro-being spied on. But then I do use Facebook, GoodReads, Amazon, Gmail and a cell phone. Those things pump out way more personal information than what has been implied to be collected by this thing.

A voluntary bit of javascript in a free advance readers copy that has to be activated manually feels pretty small-fry.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:35 PM   #33
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In the end, I'm not pro-being spied on. But then I do use Facebook, GoodReads, Amazon, Gmail and a cell phone. Those things pump out way more personal information than what has been implied to be collected by this thing.

A voluntary bit of javascript in a free advance readers copy that has to be activated manually feels pretty small-fry.
Well, sure, this particular case could be described as small-fry. But it's symptomatic of a larger trend. And if a person is not in favor of being spied upon, then why voluntarily participate? It just encourages them.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:40 PM   #34
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.


A voluntary bit of javascript in a free advance readers copy that has to be activated manually feels pretty small-fry.
Did you read the DBW article?
The ARC deployment is a proof of concept *test*.

Nowhere does it say that is the *only* way it will ever be deployed.

All that matters is knowing that the capability is baked into epub3 and it is being used. The rest is up to you.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:43 PM   #35
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And if a person is not in favor of being spied upon, then why voluntarily participate? It just encourages them.
My guess would be that people voluntarily participate because they want the free advance copy of the book. Have you ever read an ARC?

And on a larger topic, do you use Facebook, GoodReads, Amazon, Gmail or a cell phone? Do you use Ghostery, NoScript or (bettery yet) TOR? I do use the first batch and I don't use the second batch, because in the end, allowing these companies to know a little bit about me makes life easier.

So long as the company is upfront about what they're doing (and candy.js seems to be), then I don't have a problem.

You posted links to a different article about the ALA and Adobe spying on people's libraries. That's a whole different thing. A much bigger issue than this candy.js flap.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:55 PM   #36
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Did you read the DBW article?
The ARC deployment is a proof of concept *test*.

Nowhere does it say that is the *only* way it will ever be deployed.

All that matters is knowing that the capability is baked into epub3 and it is being used. The rest is up to you.
Yeah, I did read the article and the link to the earlier article (with the unfortunate title "Should Authors and Publishers Spy on Readers?"). I'll concede your point. Post #34 seemed more reasoned than some of the earlier conversation.

I'm guessing if it ever actually does move into the creepy territory, Calibre will quickly have a plug-in to strip javascript from books.

It's worth noting that what this guy and his Jellybooks company is trying to accomplish is already being done by Kobo, who (it sounds like) has no problem selling their user data. Might be worth thinking about if you're a Kobo customer.

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Old 08-05-2015, 01:26 PM   #37
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As I posted earlier, privacy is pretty well totally dead with e-readers, and has probably been more an illusion right from the start. In my earlier post I linked to an article containing a chart compiled by the EFF answering some simple privacy questions. We know that some particular data is collected. But it is disturbing that we don't know exactly what is being collected. For example, Amazon can clearly monitor what you are reading and how you are reading it after purchase. Quite frankly, a reader who doesn't know this is not paying attention or perhaps just wants to read a book and doesn't care. Personally I don't object to this. If I did I could opt out by the simple means of not ever connecting my Paperwhite to the net. Amazon is mostly using the data to improve the experience of readers, including recommending books and administering KU. However, it is unclear to what extent Amazon monitors sideloaded books. This is something I would like to know. I may or may not object to it at the end of the day, but any benefit to me in this second case is far less clear. For the moment, though I would like to know more, I am trusting Amazon not to misuse the information. According to the EFF chart, Amazon does not share any information with 3rd parties except for Law Enforcement or Civil Litigants. This is regrettable but unavoidable, since even Amazon is subject to the criminal law and the powers of the Court.

Things are what they are. We must live with them or take extreme precautions if sufficiently paranoid. But we should also be vigilant in relation to further intrusions which may be totally unacceptable.
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:34 PM   #38
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If I did I could opt out by the simple means of not ever connecting my Paperwhite to the net.
Since I strip DRM from all my e-books and tend to edit them anyway (I don't like space between paragraphs), I never connect my e-reader to Wi-Fi. It hasn't been a challenge. In fact, I've learned I'd be willing to buy an e-reader that had no Wi-Fi capability at all.

Something to think about in all this: the javascript causing the uproar tracks amount of time spent reading. The usefulness of that is what you make of it.

But Amazon, Kobo, B&N or whoever already has a history of what books you have purchased and what books you have searched for, which seems like it would be of much more value.
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:46 PM   #39
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... tend to edit them anyway (I don't like space between paragraphs), I never connect my e-reader to Wi-Fi.

In fact, I've learned I'd be willing to buy an e-reader that had no Wi-Fi capability at all.
That's funny; I edit my files because I want that space between paragraphs!

But, yes, turn that wifi off! Why use the battery power when you don't need to?

I do agree that I would consider lack of wifi a positive feature in a new ereader. Think we'll ever see one like that? I'm not holding my breath!
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:03 PM   #40
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From Digitalbookworld:

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015...about-readers/

More at the source.

Nice of them to warn us.

They don't say what format ebooks or what vendors carry this spyware so anybody with randy penguin UK titles run into this?
Here:
http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/0...ooks-dbw-2015/
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:05 PM   #41
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IMHO, there's no reason to panic unless you use an ePub3 enabled reading app, e.g. iBooks, because .js file support is an ePub3-only feature

Shameless plug:

If you're unsure whether your reading app supports JavaScript, download this simple ePub3 test file, select the first chapter (Local storage test) and tap/click the Version button.
If nothing happens, your reader/app doesn't support JavaScript.

For a more detailed test, download the official scripting support test file: EPUBTEST 0102 - Scripting Tests.
Thanks for the pointers!
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:14 PM   #42
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The tech that Jellybooks is using to benignly track your reading habits can also be used as the first step towards maliciously hacking your mobile device.

This is not an attack on JellyBooks, but I do feel that as a matter of security it would be a good idea to avoid using Epub3 ebooks on any platform which supports running Javscript files inside the ebook.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:27 PM   #43
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I probably won't be using any EPUB3-capable devices/apps that don't offer the user the ability to turn off scripting support. Not because I worry much about privacy or data collection, but because I figure if they're not smart enough to severely limit what scripting in epubs can actually accomplish on their devices (or in their apps), it's only a matter of time before some script kiddie blows up my reader/tablet with a hostile ebook.

(well for those reasons, AND the fact that I find most retail EPUB3 are pointlessly EPUB3. They'd've looked no different as EPUB2 books. I've purchased some EPUB3s ... but they all got EPUB2-itized before before they found their way onto a reading device! )
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:07 AM   #44
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Do you remember back in maybe 2010 the video of an Australian tv game show? The contestants were two advertising agencies who were asked to create a 30-second tv spot to persuade people to read a print book rather than an eBook.

The first (and winner) showed a man reading an eBook; his battery dies just when the book is getting good.

The second showed the text of an eBook being altered apparently by remote control.

It looks like the second ad has now come to pass.
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:09 AM   #45
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Do you remember back in maybe 2010 the video of an Australian tv game show? The contestants were two advertising agencies who were asked to create a 30-second tv spot to persuade people to read a print book rather than an eBook.

The first (and winner) showed a man reading an eBook; his battery dies just when the book is getting good.

The second showed the text of an eBook being altered apparently by remote control.

It looks like the second ad has now come to pass.
That is indeed an option with embedded javascript.
All the flack over the ebook bowdlerizing app of a few months back? A publisher can now create an ebook that bowdlerizes itself based on the reading app or reading app settings. Or location. (The bad guy could be Chinese in western locations and russian in chinese locations.)

There *is* money in that market and with the increased pressure on publishers, the temptation is going to be there.

Once you add executable code to a file it stops being an ebook and becomes software. Which, come to think of it, is what the Brusselcrats have been saying all along.

Big can of worms, now open...
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