With the 2010 holidays upon us, it’s time to update EFF’s E-Book Buyer’s Guide to E-Book Privacy, which summarizes and comments on the privacy-related policies of several e-readers.
What’s new. We’ve added in the iPad and also added in the software used by many libraries and devices for e-book access, made by Adobe called Adobe Content Server. Adobe doesn’t keep a list of libraries that use their software, but it does have a list of supported devices. Remember that the list only tells you what information is available to Adobe, not what information may be made available to the device itself. The information about the Adobe Content Server comes directly to us from Adobe.
What the Guide is and isn’t. The guide is simply a review of privacy policies, to the extent we’ve been able to find them, plus additional information we received directly from Adobe and the Internet Archive. We haven’t been able to do independent testing to verify how these e-book providers work in practice. Also, in discussing whether individuals are linked to their reading we have only addressed direct ways (i.e. Amazon or Google directly keeps that information in your account information) as opposed to indirect ways that require action from third parties like the ability to use your IP address gathered by logs to subpoena your ISP for your name).