Warning: *Privacy Not Included with this product


Barnes and Noble
Wi-Fi Bluetooth

Review date: Nov. 9, 2022


Mozilla says

People voted: Very creepy

OK folks, we heard you. A whole bunch of you have written us asking for us to include a review of Barnes & Noble's Nook eReader. So here we go.

First, for those of you who don't know, Nook is bookstore Barnes & Noble's own eReader, in competition with Amazon's Kindle. There are four versions of the Nook, ranging from the 6 inch GlowLight 4e to the 7.8 inch, waterproof GlowLight Plus, to the giant 10 inch tablet. There is also the Nook eReader app that lets you read Nook books on your Android or iOS devices. All of the Nook eReaders download and buy eBooks from Barnes & Noble, read eBooks free at Barnes & Noble stores, and access public library eBooks. OK, so you're skipping Amazon in favor of Barnes & Noble for your book buying. Does that mean your privacy is better off? Well, maybe. Amazon does collect a whole bunch of data about your reading preferences on the Kindle, but so does Barnes & Noble. So, probably just get used to your book buying habits being known to the world, either way you go.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

Unlike Amazon, maker of the Kindle eReader, pretty much all Barnes & Nobles sells is books (OK, and a few games, some music and movies, but mostly books). Like Amazon, though, Barnes & Noble uses their eReaders and eReader apps to collect a good deal of information on you to target you with ads to sell you more stuff. And, they partner with third party ad networks to customize and target you with even more ads from companies other than Barnes & Noble. Not great for people who just want to enjoy a good book.

Barnes & Noble’s privacy policy says they can collect information on you like name, email address, phone number, birthdate, what books you look at, buy, and read, information about the device you use, and lots of location information. This location information is an interesting one.

Barnes & Noble says they can track your location in a couple of ways. One, through your device. They say, “Barnes & Noble and third party application providers may automatically collect real-time geographic location information or other location-based information about you and your Device or other mobile device on which the App is installed.” So, Barnes & Noble and other third party providers they work with can know where you are in real-time. Yuck. They also say they can track your location when you log onto the free wi-fi they offer in their stores to Nook users, where they also say Nook users can read ebooks for free. When you log onto the wi-fi in a Barnes and Noble store, they say they can track your location, device identifiers, date, time, information about what you interact with, and “how you experience” their stores. They use this information to, among other things, “deliver push notifications and other content to your Device when you are near, enter, and move through our stores.” Yeah, not a lot of privacy when you take your Nook eReader or app to the store.

So, Barnes & Noble tracks your reading behaviors, your location, as well as information about you and the devices you use and then shares that data with third parties for targeted, interest-based advertising. What’s the worst that could happen? Well, it would really suck to be a young queer kid, hoping to learn more about the LGBTQ+ world by taking that Nook you got for Christmas down to the Barnes & Noble to use the free wi-fi to read the free ebooks where you think you have some privacy from your potentially unaccepting parents. But then Barnes & Noble and the third party ad networks they share data with know that you -- a young, curious, scared queer kid -- are reading books from the LGBTQ+ section and starts showing ads on not just the Nook, but other devices your parents have access to. Your parents see those ads, start questioning you about your sexual orientation, and now you are outed to potentially unaccepting parents. Yes, this is a worst-case scenario, so hopefully it never happens. Still, it’s a scenario that many LGBTQ+ people worry about. We have to say the Nook comes with *Privacy Not Included.

Tips to protect yourself

  • Don't use a third party login like Google or Facebook login to sign into the service.
  • Do not sign up with third-party accounts. Better just log in with email and strong password.
  • Chose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc
  • Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images, location unless neccessary)
  • Keep your app regularly updated
  • Limit ad tracking via your device (eg on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization)
  • Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device usually does not erase your personal data.
  • When starting a sign-up, do not agree to tracking of your data if possible.
  • mobile

Can it snoop on me? information


Device: No

App: Yes


Device: No

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: Yes

App: No

What can be used to sign up?

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

Nook might be selling some data as this term is defined by some privacy regulations.

"We do not provide your name, phone number, address, email address or other personally identifiable information to third parties in exchange for money. However, under certain state privacy laws, sharing information for advertising purposes may be considered a “sale” of “personal information.” You have the right to opt out of the “sale” of personal information, and we’ve made it possible for you to stop the information transfers that might be considered such a “sale” from our website or applications by visiting the following link: Do Not Sell My Personal Information"

"We may partner with third party advertising networks that collect IP addresses, unique device identifiers (UDIDs), browser type, operating system, time zone, country, referring pages, and other information through the use of cookies, web server logs and pixel tags on Barnes & Noble Websites, Apps, emails and on third party websites and emails. They use this information to provide you with advertisements that are customized to your particular preferences, including for companies that are not affiliated with us. You may see these advertisements on Barnes & Noble Websites and third party apps and websites, and across different devices you use."

How can you control your data?

We ding this product because according to Barnes & Noble's privacy policy it is not clear that all users have the same right to access and delete their data.

"If required by law we will grant a request to delete information, but you should note that in many situations we must keep your personal information to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, enforce our agreements, or for another one of our business purposes."

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Needs Improvement

Child Privacy Information

"Barnes & Noble is committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations regarding the collection, storage and use of personal information of Minors under the age of 13, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998.

Except as noted below: (i) our products and services are marketed for and directed towards purchase by adults or with the consent of adults; (ii) Individuals under the age of 18 ("Minors") are not permitted to use Barnes & Noble Websites or Apps without the supervision of a parent or legal guardian; (iii) we do not knowingly collect or solicit personal information from children under the age of 13 or knowingly allow such persons to register for an online account or to post personal information on the Barnes & Noble Websites; and (v) should we learn that someone under the age of 13 has provided any personal information to or on any of the Barnes & Noble Websites, we will remove that information as soon as possible.

If we direct certain Devices features or Apps to Minors who may be under the age of 13, we require the parent or legal guardian to provide verifiable consent to such Minor’s use of our products and services and our collection of personal information in connection with such use. In these cases, we require validation of credit card information already on file with us and we will then email the master account holder to give notice that we have received such consent. If no credit card information is on file, or if the credit card is invalid, we will not register that you have consented. With your consent, we may collect, use and share information regarding Minors under the age of 13 consistent with this Privacy Policy. Please see the sections above for detailed information on how we do so.

If you are a parent or guardian who believes that your Minor under the age of 13 has submitted personal information or other information to us without your consent, please contact [email protected]. Once we verify that you are the parent or legal guardian, at your request, we will promptly provide to you information regarding what, if any, personal information we have collected about your child and how it has been used or shared. We will, at your request, remove personal information about your child from its database and instruct our affiliates and third party partners to do the same.

If you are a Minor under the age of 18, you may request and obtain removal of certain content or information posted on Barnes & Noble Websites and Apps by sending an email to [email protected] with “Privacy Rights for Minors” in the subject line. Please be advised that our removal of your post(s) does not ensure complete or comprehensive removal of the content or information you have posted on Barnes & Noble Websites or Apps."

Can this product be used offline?


User-friendly privacy information?


Separate Q&A policy is offered

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information




Strong password


Security updates


Manages vulnerabilities


Privacy policy


Does the product use AI? information


*Privacy Not Included

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