I always feel like somebody’s watching me…

Photo courtesy of William Duke

While watching the Today Show, I was interested in a story about how what you read on your e-reader can and IS being tracked. Being a recent e-reader myself, I did not like this! One of the great things about being a librarian is insuring people’s privacy.

In this article and on the Today Show segment, they discussed how they can track how long it takes to read books, which passages in books are being highlighted the most, whether a book is finished, and more. And what are they doing with this info? Well, it could help publishers decide what to publish and authors what to write.  Or not write. Barnes and Noble has created “Nook Snaps” which are short “books” on specific non-fiction topics or fiction novellas. Author Scott Turow likes the idea. I am not a writer, but I don’t know that I am crazy about this. I don’t highlight, and I’m not ashamed of anything I am reading. I just don’t think it is anyone’s business unless I share it, which I do, but on my own terms.

I also found some of the conclusions they are making based on the reading habits interesting. I understand they could be correct in the very general sense. However, I also think they can be reading into some of it. For instance, they comment that if they see it is taking readers a long time to finish a book, it must be because it is boring or at least not holding their interest. I can attest that for me, when once I could finish several books in a month, I can barely get through one now! Life gets in the way sometimes; interest doesn’t always wane.

At the end of the Today Show segment, the tech guest does explain how you can change your settings (around 1:40) to not allow the manufacturers to get this information.  I couldn’t find where to do this on the Kindle Fire or the Nook. If you are concerned, perhaps you can figure it out! (I’d hoped to have tips but any search I did sent me to sites to reset BACK to factory settings)

Or perhaps you can find answers in some of the books the library has to offer.

Kindle Fire Quicksteps by Joli Ballew

My Kindle Fire by Jim Cheshire

Kindle Touch for Dummies by Leslie H. Nicoll and Harvey Chute

Kindle Fire: the Missing Manual by Peter Meyers

The NOOK book : an unofficial guide by Patrick Kanouse

Nook Tablet : the missing manual : the book that should have been in the box by Preston Gralla

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