Many readers turn to ebooks mainly because digital books are extremely convenient to read. The ability to sync the content between user’s all devices is one of the most convincing features.
On the other hand, if you end up reading a book on a tablet in a certain location, and open on your e-reader exactly in the same location, it means that a piece of data was accessed by the digital content provider. To be precise: not only accessed, but also stored.
We’re concerned about privacy on Facebook, but we should also be concerned about privacy when it comes to ebooks.
Social networks are meant to share info. Books are different. Books are meant to be a personal pleasure. It’s not exactly what’s happening when we switch to digital reading.
Since 2009 Electronic Frontier Foundation tracks privacy policies of major ebookstores, including Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Ebooks, Sony, Overdrive, Indiebound, Internet Archive, and Adobe Content Server.
While syncing the latest-read location seems to be justified, some other areas raise the question: why do they need this information? Some data won’t be directly used to improve the user’s experience. For instance, why do ebookstores monitor what you read and how you’re reading?
The chart below answers the following questions:
- Can they keep track of searches for books?
- Can they monitor what you’re reading and how you’re reading it after purchase and link that information back to you? Can they do that when the e-book is obtained elsewhere?
- What compatibility does the device have with books not purchased from an associated eBook store?
- Do they keep a record of book purchases? Can they track book purchases or acquisitions made from other sources?
- With whom can they share the information collected in non-aggregated form?
- Do they have mechanisms for customers to access, correct, or delete the information?
- Can they share information outside the company without the customer’s consent?
Please make sure to visit the EFF blog post for more details. The chart was prepared by Cindy Cohn and Parker Higgins, with the help from Hannah Bloch-Wehba.
Electronic Frontier Foundation: E-reader privacy chart
Gifts for modern book lovers in 2022
Based on recommendations from top tech sites and customer reviews.
Breathable 3D sleep headphones – great for audiobooks
This cozy and breathable sleeping mask has a special 3D shape which will not put pressure on your eyeballs and face. It features built-in Bluetooth earbuds with a playback time reaching 10 hours.
Cute book sleeve – great for print books and e-readers
From The Great Oak comes a large zippered book sleeve with a cozy and bright pattern. The soft middle layer is designed to keep your books safe and comfy. It will protect not only your paperbacks, but also an e-reader.
Hands-free pillow stand – great for e-readers and print books
An improved version of a popular Lamicall tablet pillow comes now with a side pocket for a pen or small accessories. The grooves are deep enough to hold a print book. It’s made of durable materials and is available in five fashionable colors.