Is Big Brother Watching You?

Are you being monitored? Are your reading habits and choices being tracked and the information given away without your consent? Maybe you should be more careful with what reading medium you choose.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (The EFF), a nonprofit group that fights for consumer rights and privacy, analyzed the privacy doctrines of today’s popular e-readers and found that most track consumer searches, purchases, reading habits, and preferences. A few of those examined included big names such as Google Book, Amazon’s Kindle, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook.

“In nearly all cases, reading e-books means giving up more privacy than browsing through a physical bookstore or library, or reading a paper book in your own home,” wrote The EFF in its 2012 report.[1]

The EFF uncovered that Kindle, Nook, Hobo, Sony Reader, and Google Books, track searches on their device and keep a recording of all purchases made by the consumer. These are five of the most popular digital readers on the market. Want to hear what’s worse? Several digital platforms, including the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo, will share your information with other companies WITHOUT your consent.[2]

“For centuries, reading has largely been a solitary and private act, an intimate exchange between the reader and the words on the page,” wrote the Wall Street Journal in an article on the subject earlier this year. “But the rise of digital books has prompted a profound shift in the way we read, transforming the activity into something measurable and quasi-public.”[3]

It is not normal that there is data on how long, on average, it takes digital readers to finish “The Hunger Games.” This information was compiled without readers’ knowledge. Perhaps you yourself contributed to obtaining this information.

Companies that sell e-readers try to argue that digital books, after tracking a person’s readings, can suggest future purchases for consumers. This is just another way for money hungry companies, such as Amazon, to make a profit. Not only that, but why limit people to what they should read? Instead of letting people discover books on their own and read a wide scope of items, E-readers are narrowing consumers’ reading topics and ideas to what they are familiar with. What about reading something new and different?

Is this an invasion of privacy? Are we killing people’s individuality and ideas? Yes. Do not stand to be part of a study without your consent. Buy print and what you read is your business. No one is tracking the print pages as you turn them or putting what you should read next in your face. Join The P.A. Hutchison Company and read with print. Print allows you the freedom to read what you want without having to worry that you are being tracked.


 

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