Terms and conditions: we never read them, but we know we know should. Here’s what you should know about Amazon’s Fire and the new Silk browser it comes with: they make it clear that the company is entitled to retain your tablet’s unique ID, plus the URL’s of pages you have visited, for up to 30 days.
One of the most hyped features about Amazon’s new Kindle Fire was that it shipped with an all-new web browser, Amazon Silk, that would speed up the power of Amazon’s “cloud” computing servers by about 20 times.
Chester Wisniewski, of British security company, Sophos, has compiled a blog post exposing the nasty side of what this means:
If you think Google AdWords and Facebook are watching you, this service is guaranteed to have a record of EVERYTHING you do on the web.
All web connections from your tablet will connect directly to Amazon, rather than the destination web page. Hopefully you can start to see the problem here. All of your web surfing habits will transit Amazon’s cloud.
Look, the idea of transmitting web surfing through a relay service isn’t new. Opera’s Mini browser already uses similar technology, but at least Opera promises not to retain data.
Anyway, here’s what Apple’s Chris Espinosa, senior employee number eight who joined Apple in 1976, and who’s been with the company since the Steve Jobs garage days, has to say:
What this means is that Amazon will capture and control every Web transaction performed by Fire users. Every page they see, every link they follow, every click they make, every ad they see is going to be intermediated by one of the largest server farms on the planet.
People who cringe at the privacy and data-mining implications of the Facebook Timeline ought to be just floored by the magnitude of Amazon’s opportunity here.
Amazon now has what every storefront lusts for: the knowledge of what other stores your customers are shopping in and what prices they’re being offered there.
There are three solutions to this: you could turn Amazon’s split-browser function off and slow things down a lot, defeating the purpose of fast, seamless web browsing, or you could install another browser, that’s probably also going to watch you anyway.
The third reason? Don’t buy one.
[imagesource:here] I recently watched season five of the Netflix docuseries Inside The ...
[imagesource: Yulia Reznikov/ Getty] At the start of the year – when you’re hungove...
[imagesource: AFP] As the fourth and final test match of a riveting series between Aust...
[imagesource: Unsplash/Cameron Venti] If Charlize Theron can go from Benoni to the big ...
[imagesource:here] Films that do well on the festival circuit, are often overlooked whe...