Onyx Boox

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

Onyx Boox

Onyx International Inc.
Wi-Fi Bluetooth

Review date: Nov. 8, 2021

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Super creepy

On the surface, Onyx Boox eReaders sound kinda cool. They run on the open Android operating system, which makes them versatile when it comes to the third-party apps you can use on them. They also come with options for large screens and note-taking abilities. All this is good. Unfortunately, that’s where the good seems to end. Researching these Chinese-made eReaders was an exercise in how sketchy things can get on the internet. We warn buyers to beware if you decide to shop for this product. Read on to find out why.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

Where to start on just how badly it seems privacy is not included with these eReaders? First, there’s how difficult it is to even safely purchase them. There are multiple websites that claim to sell these eReaders, unfortunately, many of these seem to be sketchy reseller scams sites. If you do decide to buy this product, do your homework and make sure you’re buying from the actual Chinese company’s website — shop.boox.com -— and not a questionable Russian reseller site like onyxboox.com. If you find them on Amazon, look that they are being sold by Onyx International Inc. Even then, it seems you could be getting a questionable product. At least Amazon has a good return policy.

Next, we could find no actual eReader privacy policy for these devices. The only privacy policy we could uncover was for the shop.boox.com website, not for the actual devices. So we have no idea what personal information they might be collecting or how they might be using it. In our journey around the internet to try and uncover what we could about these eReaders, we stumbled across a random Reddit thread where one Onyx eReader consumer posted their concerns about a privacy policy they got on their eReader after purchase. We’ll share that with you here with the caveat that it’s a Reddit thread so, you know, it’s not exactly a verifiable source.

We also couldn’t confirm these eReaders meet our Minimum Security Standards because, well, we couldn’t confirm much about these eReaders. The company didn’t respond to our emails requesting information. And there were no publicly available sources we could find to let us know if the company does basic things like use encryption, manage security vulnerabilities, or push security updates. The bottom line with Onyx Boox eReaders: absolutely assume that they come with privacy not included.

Tips to protect yourself

  • Double check that you are buying an Onyx Boox from the official seller “Onyx International Inc” (on Amazon), or on the official website shop.boox.com. There is evidence that there are plenty of copy versions of Onyx readers, that are sold even through Amazon and do not provide security updates.
  • Do not buy the Onyx Boox from the site onyxboox.com, as it appears to be a Russian scam reseller site.
mobile Privacy warning Security warning A.I.

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: No

App: N/A

Microphone

Device: No

App: N/A

Tracks location

Device: Yes

App: N/A

What can be used to sign up?

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

We did not find a privacy policy for e-readers by Onyx Boox. In 2020, a Reddit user posted photos of the policy he said he had to agree with to update his Onyx device. And there are plenty of things to worry about: according to the photo of the policy, Onyx collects a lot of data from your device, and the data can be used whenever the company believes 'it is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by Onyx." We would love to look closer if things changed in 2021, but unfortunately we could find no product privacy policy publicly available. We did find this page on the Onyx Boox help section, but even if it is legitimate it doesn't replace the need for an actual privacy policy.

How can you control your data?

Can't determine

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

Average

No known incidents in the last 3 years.

Can this product be used offline?

Can’t Determine

User-friendly privacy information?

No

No privacy policy found for e-readers, only for the website

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

No

Encryption

Can’t Determine

Strong password

Can’t Determine

Security updates

Can’t Determine

Manages vulnerabilities

Can’t Determine

Privacy policy

No

Privacy policy appears to only apply to their website, not the device

Does the product use AI? information

Can’t Determine

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

Can’t Determine

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Can’t Determine


News

A Word of Caution About Buying Onyx Boox eReaders
The ebook Reader
If you follow this website you know that I’m a big fan of Onyx’s ebook readers and note-taking devices. The open Android operating system makes them a lot more versatile than other ebook readers because you can install various reading apps, and that’s the only way to get a large screen Kindle these days.

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