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"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.” -Will Rogers (1879-1935)

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"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Did you realize – Your eBook data is being collected by sellers

That’s right. It is my impression that many people reading literature over the newfangled devices do not have any idea that they may have traveled back 28 years to 1984. While it may not be Big Brother looking over your shoulder, it may be even creepier than Big Brother. These guys might make real use of the data being collected.

I’m not trying to be an alarmist here; just my effort at sounding the Paul Revere and passing on what I have been able to gleam from what I understand about the situation.


No, Not that one, the other one!


The information I would like to pass along comes from an article published in the Wall Street Journal the other day entitled “Your E-Book Is Reading You”:

Interesting, ver-r-r-r-y interesting!

It seems that if you are using a iPad, Kindle or Nook to purchase and read books or projects off those available from the internet suppliers; what you have done is being monitored. Every time you revisit the supplier’s web site they are updating minute bits of data on what you have accomplished on your reading device.

The article states (from Nook as an example) “Data collected from Nooks reveals, for example, how far readers get in particular books, how quickly they read and how readers of particular genres engage with books. Jim Hilt, the company's vice president of e-books, says the company is starting to share their insights with publishers to help them create books that better hold people's attention.”  

Mr. Hilt further states “that the company is still in "the earliest stages of deep analytics" and is sifting through "more data than we can use."

So, just what is it that they want from you?

The second paragraph is very revealing as to what they might pull from what is being recorded every time you take out your Kindle and begin.

1 – do you skip the introduction?
2 – do you stop after three pages and never come back?
3 – how fast do you read?
It goes on and on.

They are looking for the point that you become bored in certain genre books and will be trying to come up with a hook that will keep you interested, whether you want to stay or not. Maybe it’s a movie trailer of what’s exciting ahead—anything to hook you.

The article further points out that Amazon knows what part of a book the readers like best and actually highlight.

The watchdogs are out and preparing for battle as we discuss the situation. Here’s an excerpt:

“"There's a societal ideal that what you read is nobody else's business," says Cindy Cohn, legal director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates for consumer rights and privacy. "Right now, there's no way for you to tell Amazon, I want to buy your books, but I don't want you to track what I'm reading."”

This photo from the Wall Street Journal article just fascinates me:

Photo credit – William Duke

Look back over your shoulder—is anybody watching? Maybe all you have to do is look straight ahead—there they are!

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