Tuesday, December 22, 2009

E-Book Privacy

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a handy guide to reader privacy on e-book platforms, including the Kindle, the Nook, and Google Books.

Take the EFF's assessment of the Nook with a grain of salt: Barnes & Noble hasn't actually shipped any Nooks yet, so they've based their guide on the general B&N privacy policy.

And these guidelines may operate differently for libraries. For example, readers are less likely to be signed in to their personal accounts when using library computers for browsing than when at home. My guess would be that makes any data collected at libraries more aggregated and therefore more individually private. There's a difference between knowing which e-books are in a library's collection and which e-books a specific person searches and reads.

Still, patron privacy is an important value, and we should consider it when choosing devices and providers.

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Libri & Libertas: Books & Freedom in a Web 2.0 World by Laura H. Wimberley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - Share Alike 3.0 United States License.