by Maral M
Amazon revealed the Kindle Fire last Wednesday that is equipped with their web browser, Silk. This web browser is connected to Amazon’s cloud servers and tracks everything the user does on the internet. Unlike other browsers, such as Firefox, which connect users to internet websites directly; Silk will sift information through Amazon’s cloud and connect users more rapidly to websites. Privacy advocates say that Amazon will record everything done by users; thus, controlling what is seen by its users. Information collected will include those found on private websites, such as bank and email.The information collected for each user will be kept for one month; however, this feature can be turned off. Advocates worry that the information can be hacked or can be turned over the United States government.
When I first saw the commercial for Amazon’s Kindle Fire I was intrigued by its price and capabilities. However, after reading the article, I am contemplating whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Although, it is sometimes helpful to have websites contain advertisements directed for me; it is worrisome to know every moved I make will be recorded on a server that is only as secure as its programming. The most bothersome part of Silk is the fact that even on secure websites it tracks the information. Private information, such as the amount of money I have in my bank accounts, should not be stored in a database other than at my bank.
User responsive web development is beneficial but in cases such as this privacy needs to remain as well. It is understandable to want to know information about users to be able to create at a better web browsing experience but this can only go so far. Private information should not be kept by third-party organizations, such as Amazon. The benefit of Silk is the quicker downloading of websites onto its tablet compared to the IPad and others. But before purchasing the product it is important to ask yourself if you are willing to give up privacy for milliseconds of your time.
Sutter, J. D. (2011). Amazon’s ‘cloud’ browser raises privacy concerns. CNNTech. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/29/tech/gaming-gadgets/amazon-silk-browser/index.html?iref=allsearch