Remember when you actually read books? Back before the days of Twitter and Netflix and your 17-second attention span. The Kindle—Amazon now offers the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Oasis, and Kindle Kids—could be just the thing to get your brain back into book-reading shape. Because that's really all the Kindle does—books. No videos or apps or web surfing. Just books. What a novel idea!
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Amazon proudly states they are not in the business of selling your personal information to others, which is good. However, a good question to ask is, why would Amazon need to sell your data when they have their own advertising and retail juggernaut to use your data to sell you more stuff? Because Amazon is in the business of selling you more stuff. This means Amazon collects a whole lot of data on you—records of what books you like to read, shopping habits, Alexa search requests, the music you stream, the podcasts you listen to, when you turn your lights on and off, when you lock your doors, and on and on and on.
What’s the worst that could happen? The Kindle eReader actually feels like a fairly safe product. There's no Alexa built in, so you don't need to worry about voice requests being tracked or Alexa skills snooping on you. You can read with both WiFi and Bluetooth turned off. Just be sure you set up a passcode if you travel with this device to protect it from getting stolen and someone buying lots of books on your Amazon account. We do suppose it's possible Amazon could learn all about what books you like to read, only show you romance novels in your shopping recommendations, you read way too many romance novels, develop an unrealistic world view on romantic relationships, nothing ever lives up to those unrealistic expectations, so you live your whole life alone. OK, that's not likely to happen (we hope!) And if you want Amazon to stop trying to sell you more stuff like more romance novels, you can (and should!) opt-out of data collection and processing.
Tips to protect yourself
- Review your privacy setting and opt out of as much data collection and processing as you feel comfortable with.
- Remember that Amazon privacy preferences are device specific, so you need to set your privacy preferences on all your Amazon devices individually. What, you had nothing better to do this weekend, right?
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email, phone number, address
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
In August 2020, security researchers from Check Point pointed out a flaw in Amazon's Alexa smart home devices that could have allowed hackers access to personal information and conversation history. Amazon promptly fixed the bug.
In October 2020, Amazon fired an employee for leaking customer email addresses to an unnamed third party.
In October 2019, Forbes reported that Amazon employees were listening to Amazon Cloud Cam recording, to train its AI algorithm.
In April 2019, it was revealed that thousands of employees, many of whom are contract workers and some not even directly employed by Amazon, had access to both voice and text transcripts of Alexa interactions.
In 2018, Amazon's Echo Dot device recorded private conversation and sent it to random contact. The recording consisted of 1,700 audio files.
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Amazon provides Kindle-specific Privacy Settings FAQ.
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Uses encryption in transit and at rest.
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