Amazon is Recording Everything You Do On Your Kindle – Here’s How to Request the Data

Amazon is Recording Everything You Do On Your Kindle - Here's How to Request the Data Amazon Security & Privacy

I am sure you know that Amazon tracks what you do on the Kindle and in the Kindle app - after all, Amazon can't store your notes and highlights without first recording them.

But what you might not know is that Amazon logs your every keypress, and they keep that log literally forever (and, unless you live someplace with privacy laws to protect you, there's no way to delete the log).

I learned that from Adrianne Jeffries, who tweeted a screenshot yesterday showing that Amazon still had Kindle reading data on her from 2018. Amazon is literally logging every time she turns the page:

What's not shown in the screenshot is that Amazon also tracks the titles of the books you're reading.

While Amazon won't delete this data in the absence of a privacy regulation like the GDPR, you can request the data they have logged about you by visiting the Request My Data page on Amazon.com.

I have asked for the Kindle logs from my account, as well as any logs from my Kindle Fire and Audible. Amazon said it could take up to a month for the request to be processed, which is when I will get to see .

In the meantime, I will be looking at refreshing my post on Amazon security settings you can change for more privacy. What I would like to do is add sections on the additional control you get under the GDPR. I can't see any of that myself, so if you are familiar with these privacy controls I would like to hear from you.

image by simonov via Flickr

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

7 Comments

  1. Daniel29 January, 2020

    I live in Germany (yay for GDPR) and I just requested my data for kindle and fire tablet. So I guess they know about all the books I sideloaded on my kindle and that I installed google services on my fire tablet (I’m a bit weary about their tracking of my browser history in privacy mode ūüôĀ ).

    More interesting is what they actually do with this information.

    Reply
  2. Allen F29 January, 2020

    They don’t know what I’ve been reading on mine!

    Everything’s side-loaded and never taken out of airplane mode. (and the wifi it used for the first setup is no longer plugged in.)

    Not that I’m that worried about it, just what I’m used to doing. (I also save web pages to my netbook, always good for a chuckle when somebody demands to know how I’m getting to the internet when there’s no connection/wifi in the place. ūüėČ )

    Reply
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  4. Aaron30 January, 2020

    I wonder how they apply analytics to us. Certainly we are all scored based on our habits. Considering I only buy from Kobo and use amazon for Library books I’m sure I score poorly. It would be interesting to see how the scores are distributed as well.

    Reply
  5. Disgusting Dude1 February, 2020

    Distributed to whom? And why?
    Amazon considers user data proprietary and refuses to share it. It is the biggest gripe that the big publishers have with Amazon: they have such fined grained data, yet they won’t give it to tbem for free or for pay. Preferably for free.
    (Bad Amazon.)
    The data they collect is hardly a secret and hasn’t been for a decade.
    How else could tbey implement WhisperSync, available since day one?
    How else could the alsobought recommendations work?
    It’s not just Kindle or the Fire Gadgets or Alexa. It is their entire website.

    The issue isn’t the tracking, it’s who might they share it with.
    If anybody.
    Today most everybody collects data, tech and non-tech, don’t fool yourself.
    Supermarket loyalty cards? Data collectors.
    Banks, credit cards, Walmart, Target, everybody who asks for your zipcode and/or phone.
    News websites and streaming services. Pandora and Spotify. Netflix, Hulu, Disney, Roku, and yes, Kobo.
    If they’re online, they collect data.
    It’s part of the price: if you watch ad-supported anything, you’re paying with your attention–if you’re online, you’re paying with whatever data they can collect.

    Apple collects tons of user data, too. Nobody gripes, partly because it’s Apple, partly because they don’t share it.
    Microsoft doesn’t share either, but they’re MS so folks gripe.
    Tesla collects data by the ton, too. They don’t share.
    Most big companies don’t share data because it is worth more as competitive advantage than the pidddly amount ad companies or publishers might pay.

    If this is news to you, you need to get out more.
    Seriously. It’s old news.

    Amazon does have a problem but it’s not with Kindle.
    A year or two back tbey bought RING, maker of connected video doorbells and other gadgets.
    They collect data and video. And monetize it. They share it with all sorts of groups. Including police and governments. And don’t ask permission.

    That is a big no-no.
    Amazon gives its subsidiaries a great deal of autonomy but RING needs a trip to tbe woodshed.
    Bad RING, bad, bad, bad.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder2 February, 2020

      Amazon reportedly shared data with FB, and other companies:
      https://www.geekwire.com/2018/facebook-data-sharing-partnerships-amazon-microsoft-tech-giants-center-latest-privacy-scandal/

      So basically every tech company could have this info, and if one of them sold the data to a broker, then literally anyone could have it.

      Reply
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