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Your E-Book is Phishing For Data

Updated on June 29, 2012

Okay, this IS big brother. Your beloved e-book is obtaining data without your knowledge and for which you are powerless to stop. Your e-reader records data about how long you spend reading, your search terms, they know that sci-fi, romance and crime fiction books are read more often. They know it takes an average reader seven hours to read the Hunger Games trilogy at about 57 pages an hour. That seems a little too fast me. They have found out that once a book in a trilogy is finished, the reader will usually buy and download the next in the series.

Barnes & Noble has been mining the data from its Nook sales which had risen 45%. They know that nonfiction books are seldom read through versus novels that are. The longer the nonfiction book, the more likely the reader will stop reading it. When you purchase a Kindle reader, you automatically agree to allow Amazon to track your reading habits sent to their data centers without you knowing it. If you highlight a section of the book, this data is sent to Amazon.

Certain books on sex or security raises concerns about this invasion of privacy that the reader has no recourse to. With 40 million e-readers in use now and 65 million tablets (which also send reader data) a lot of data phishing and mining is happening. The reading platform, Copia, actually gathers some amazing data of the reader: age, gender, book preferences, how times books are downloaded and opened and read. It then shares the data with the book publisher.

Authors tend to love mulling over the data once they get it. It helps them craft their story and length of the book. It should be noted that no personal info is sent. So, the next time you turn on your e-reader, just know, big brother is watching.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I know. It's frightening to think of a world where paper books don't exist, but I think we are going that way. It will be impossible to buy copies of books or access information anonymously. Sometimes I like to read books in a particular topic. Heaven help me if I decide to read books on Hitler and the KKK in the same day. I'll probably get picked up in some government data base.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      I was totally shocked hearing about this. What else can they do or willing to do?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm not sure that Barnes &Noble can track my reading habits that closely. Yes, I'm online when I buy the book, but after that I'm not online at all. So I don't know how they would know what book I read at what time and how long it took me to read it. Unless there is a program on my nook that records this info and then sends it when I go online again. (Yep, I bet that happens.)

      I agree that they know what I buy. They also would know what I highlight and what notes I make. While there is a copy of the book on my nook, there is also a copy at their storage space. That does bother me.

      I use a nook for convenience and to adjust the font size. I need extra extra large. It does bother me that they can track me.


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