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Amazon Online Policy Primer


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Amazon Online Policy Primer

  2. 2. Amazon.comWhat was the world‟s biggest bookstore has now become the world‟s biggest everything store (Hoovers, 2011).
  3. 3. Selling anything from books, CDs, Blurays and MP3s to cameras, clothing, toys, sports equipment and lots more.Photo credit: „Kindle 2.0 in a box‟ (2009) by shadowstorm
  4. 4. They even have their own range of credit cards (Amazon, 2011c). Photo credit: „ Credit Card‟ (2008) by MJ/TR ( ω )
  5. 5. But have you read theirTerms of Use,Privacy Policy orLicense Agreement?
  6. 6. Because by even visiting the website, you are accepting thepractices outlined in the Privacy Policy (Amazon, 2008), which states that Amazon can collect and store a comprehensive dossier of your personal details and other information including:
  7. 7. your name address phone number credit card information email addresses your friends‟ details your photograph financial information and social securityand driver‟s license numbers (Amazon, 2008). Photo credit: „Self Portrait‟ (2009) by t6mdm
  8. 8. This kind of data mining has been called by Rotenburg as“a ticking privacy time bomb” (Barbaro & Zeller, 2006), where your personal information is compiled, stored and used as they see fit but recently governments have attempted to gain access to customer data compiled by Amazon, interested in what people are buying including titles like…
  9. 9. “Lolita”“Brokeback Mountain” and “Fahrenheit 9/11” (Cohen, 2010).
  10. 10. Generally speaking, Terms of Use and privacy policies are rarely read by users but “they are the binding forces thatdetermine what a company can do with your personal information and private data” (White, 2011).
  11. 11. Another way Amazon gets your information is through the use ofFlash cookies, which are more persistent and are harder to avoidrelative to normal browser cookies (Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, 2011). Photo credit: „”chocolate chip cookies‟ (2009) by seriousbri
  12. 12. Also, although the Privacy Notice states that Amazon does not sellproducts to children, there is no way it can verify that is can‟t happen. Photo credit: „"his" computer‟ (2011) by Paul Mayne
  13. 13. And of course… “Amazon reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts,remove or edit content, or cancel orders in their sole discretion”(Amazon, 2011b).
  14. 14. Photo credit: „Kindle Birdies‟ (2010) by sarowen
  15. 15. As a Kindle owner, you are subject to the Kindle License Agreement and Terms of Use which states “Digital Content is licensed,not sold, to you by the Content Provider” (Amazon, 2011a).
  16. 16. This means that you don‟t ownbooks in a traditional sense,rather just the unlimited rightsto read them (Buchanan, 2008).You can‟t resell or loan yourdigital copy.Now thats a whole newinterpretation of“ownership”.Photo credit: Adapted from „Book Sale‟ (2010)by clemsonunivlibrary
  17. 17. Amazon also have to rights toremovepurchased content from your Kindle. In 2009, Amazon deleted digital copies of books from customers‟ devices, without consent or notice, due to insufficient rights to sell the books (Stone, 2009).
  18. 18. Ironically, among the booksremoved were George Orwell‟s „1984‟ and„Animal Farm‟. Photo credit: „Pig‟ (2010) by Travis S.
  19. 19. Kindle owners were angry.This case highlights the “gap in understanding about rightsin the digital world and the real world” (Claburn, 2009).People expect digital world rights to bethe same as real world right.
  20. 20. The Kindle License Agreement has been changed and amendedmany hundreds of times over the last few years (TOSBack, 2011), constantly protecting Amazon‟s best interests. Photo credit: „Day 54/365‟ (2010) by Roxanne Cooke
  21. 21. But if you were notified every time it changes, which you‟re not, would you re-read the agreement?
  22. 22. So if you think that digital copy of „1984‟ is the sameas the one on your bookshelf, think again. Photo credit: „Big Brother Congestion‟ (2006) by jeroen020
  23. 23. So let‟s recap,Amazon is a company that knows who you are,where you live,your bank and credit card details,your phone number and email address,what you like,what you buy andwho your friends are.Plus they have access to your purchased digital content,which they have the power to remove.
  24. 24. Would you trust them?
  25. 25. Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
  26. 26. ReferencesAmazon (2011a). Kindle License Agreement and Terms of Use. Retrieved from (2011b). Conditions of Use. Retrieved from (2011c). Credit Offerings. Retrieved from (2008). Privacy Notice. Retrieved from Credit Card (2008). [Image]. Retrieved from, M. & Zeller, T. (2006). A Face Is Exposed for AOL Searcher No. 4417749. Retrieved from Brother Congestion (2006). [Image]. Retrieved from Sale (2010). [Image]. Retrieved from, C. (2008). Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader Locked Up: Why Your Books Are NoLonger Yours. Retrieved from
  27. 27. Claburn, T. (2009). Amazon Says It Will Stop Deleting Kindle Books. Retrieved from, N. (2010). In a State’s Search for Sales Tax, Amazon Raises Privacy Concerns. Retrieved from 54/365 (2010). [Image]. Retrieved from (2011)., Inc. [Fact Sheet] Retrieved from“his” computer (2011). [Image]. Retrieved from 2.0 in a box (2009). [Image]. Retrieved from Birdies (2010). [Image]. Retrieved from (2011). [Image]. Retrieved from Rights Clearinghouse (2011). Fact Sheet 18: Online Privacy: Using the Internet Safely [FactSheet]. Retrieved from Portrait (2009). [Image]. Retrieved from, B. (2009). Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle. Retrieved from The Terms of Service Tracker (2011). Amazon Kindle License Agreement and Terms of Use.Retrieved from, C. (2011). Analyzing the Terms of Service (or “Not Every Company is Evil”) [Editorial]. Retrievedfrom