Ereaders and privacy


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I made this stack for a staff training program on ebooks and ereaders. It is a basic overview of privacy as it relates to ereaders and ebooks. I updated it on 11/30/2012 to reflect the latest EFF Ereader and Privacy Chart:

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Ereaders and privacy

  1. 1. Ebooks and Privacy
  2. 2. Why privacy matters “Lack of privacy and confidentiality chills users’ choices, thereby suppressing access to ideas.”
  3. 3. What does your ereader/tablet know aboutyou?
  4. 4. What does your ereader/tablet know aboutyou? Depending on the capabilities of the device, and the manufacturer’s practices, potentially LOTS!
  5. 5. Where you are…“And its not just what pages you read; [the device] may also monitor where you read them.”
  6. 6. What you like to read…
  7. 7. …and, where in the book you stoppedreading, how fast you read, etc.
  8. 8. What music you listen to…
  9. 9. What movies you like…
  10. 10. Credit card information
  11. 11. Credit card informationBarnes & Noblerequiresa valid creditcard to beon the device,even to use theOverdrive app.
  12. 12. Ereaders and tablets are computers.
  13. 13. Over networks, computers talk to oneanother
  14. 14. Most ereading devices can use wi-fi toaccess the web
  15. 15. Wi-fi: •Allows wireless connection to a computer network •Local •Restaurants •Coffee shops •Bookstores •Libraries •Offices •Some devices automatically connect to wi- fi when they detect it (smart phones, tablets)
  16. 16. Some ereading devices can use 3G
  17. 17. 3G: “third-generation” cellular system •Available essentially anywhere •Tablets/smart phones •tied to wireless provider’s data plan (not free) •Kindle •Not tied to wireless provider •Free •3G-capable Kindle models default to 3G if wi-fi is not available
  18. 18. Who does your device talk to?Whoa! Really? What else Well, Jeff,does she like she’s really to read? into…
  19. 19. For some devices, the manufacturer cancontact the device…
  20. 20. …and alter it without the user’s knowledge.
  21. 21. …and alter it without the user’s knowledge. Amazon removed copies of George Orwell’s novels from Kindles without theirowners’ knowledge, let alone permission
  22. 22. It’s all nice and legal.“Barnes & reserves the right to automaticallyupdate, modify and/or reinstall the Barnes & NobleeReader Software. “
  23. 23. Because you gave them permission.“By visiting any area on the Barnes & Site,creating an account, [blah blah blah blah blah blah],aUser is deemed to have accepted the Terms of Use.”
  24. 24. Does anyone care about ereaders andprivacy?
  25. 25. Does anyone care? Do a search for “ereaders” and “privacy”
  26. 26. You won’t find much
  27. 27. Everything you find refers to this:
  28. 28. The Electronic Frontier Foundationcompared manufacturers’ privacy policies
  29. 29. Overdrive and privacy“When a visitor borrows an eBook or other digital item from a library or school catalog, OverDrive does not collect or maintain any personal information.” student-privacy/
  30. 30. Overdrive and privacy“In order to check out or place a hold on a title… we validate the status of a visitor’s library card (active or inactive), but do not obtain any information regarding their identity from this process.” student-privacy/
  31. 31. Overdrive and privacy“…third-parties may require visitors to register using an email address to access their software or services.” student-privacy/
  32. 32. Overdrive and privacy Added Google Analytics to Overdrive Media Console in Oct. 2012  Unclear what data is being gathered Amazon gets transaction information when Kindle- format ebooks are checked out via Overdrive console-app-also-releases-app-for-kindle-fire/
  33. 33. Patrons move from one privacy policy toanother
  34. 34. Patrons move from one privacy policy toanother “The notice…is an explicit acknowledgement that neither a library’s nor OverDrive’s privacy policy applies to library patrons accessing titles via the Kindle.”
  35. 35. Is this Big Brother?
  36. 36. Is this Big Brother?“the information could be subpoenaed to check someones alibi, or as evidence in a lawsuit.”
  37. 37. This IS “Big Content”
  38. 38. This IS “Big Content”
  39. 39. This IS “Big Content”
  40. 40. What’s a reader to do? Understand device manufacturer’s privacy policies Understand the risk before buying Wait to buy an ereader
  41. 41. What’s a library to do? Understand privacy policies. Ask vendors about the technologies that are being implemented. Communicate privacy concerns to vendors. Turn down vendors that cannot satisfy privacy concerns.
  42. 42. Further reading E-Reader Privacy Chart, 2012 Edition Note on Library Patron and Student Privacy by Lindsey Levinsohn library-patron-and-student-privacy/Is Your E-Book Reading Up On You? by Martin Kaste book-reading-up-on-you
  43. 43. Further readingOverDrive, Amazon Privacy Disclaimer Pops Up in Wisconsin; in Virginia, Questions About Catalog Disparities by Michael Kelley e-amazon-privacy-disclaimer-pops-up-in-wisconsin- in-virginia-questions-about-catalog-disparities/Privacy and Confidentiality by the American Library Association lity