Who's Tracking Your Reading Habits? An E-Book Buyer's Guide to Privacy, 2012 Edition

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Cindy Cohn at Electronic Frontier Foundation writes an eye-opening piece about Who’s Tracking Your Reading Habits? An E-Book Buyer’s Guide to Privacy, 2012 Edition. She looks in detail at the policies of Google Books, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, Sony, Overdrive, Indiebound, Internet Archive, and Adobe Content Server for answers to 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?