Oct. 14, 2011: Markey to Amazon: Don’t Hold a Kindle Fire Sale on Privacy

Congressman introduced ‘Do Not Track Kids’ legislation to protect online privacy of children and teens
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Concerned that the pairing of the new Kindle Fire tablet with its must-use Silk browser means Amazon could track each Web click of Kindle Fire users Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to Amazon’s CEO asking for responses to questions about tablets users’ privacy and security.
A recent New York Times story reported that Amazon could collect and utilize information about its users’ Kindle Fire Internet surfing and buying habits through the combination of its new tablet and browser, including which items users buy and how much they pay on sites across the Internet.
Consumers may buy the new Kindle Fire to read ‘1984’, but they may not realize that the tablet’s ‘Big Browser’ may watching their every keystroke when they are online,” said Rep. Markey, co-Chair of the Bi-partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus. “As the use of mobile devices, especially tablets, becomes ubiquitous, we must ensure that user privacy is protected and proper safeguards are in place so that consumers know if and when their personal information is being used and for what purpose. I look forward to hearing more from Amazon in response to these questions.”
In the letter, Rep. Markey asked Amazon to respond to questions that include:
·         What information does Amazon plan to collect about users of the Kindle Fire?
·         Does Amazon plan to sell, rent or otherwise make available this customer information to outside companies?
·         How does Amazon plan to disclose its privacy policy to Fire and Silk users?
·         If Amazon plans to collect information about its users’ Internet browsing habits, will customers be able to affirmatively opt in to participate in the data sharing program?
The letter to Amazon can be found HERE .
In May 2011, Reps. Markey and Joe Barton (R-Texas) introduced the “Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011”, bipartisan legislation that amends the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 to extend, enhance and update the provisions relating to the collection, use and disclosure of children’s personal information.  The legislation also establishes new protections for the personal information of children and teens.