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Librarian Attacks Amazon's Kindle Lending Program 191

Posted by timothy
from the ungrateful-whelps dept.
destinyland writes "A California librarian is urging librarians to complain to Amazon over issues with privacy and advertising in Amazon's new Kindle ebook lending program for libraries. 'In our greedy attempt to get content into our users' hands, we have failed to uphold the highest principle of our profession, which is intellectual freedom,' she argues in a 10-minute video. (Read the transcript here). Amazon keeps your history of reading library ebooks on their corporate servers, 'so it's an instant violation of all of our privacy policies. And we haven't told people that, and we need to tell people that.' And while many libraries have strict policies against endorsing a particular product, the check-out process concludes on Amazon.com with a pitch urging library patrons to purchase more Amazon books — and there's even book-buying plugs in their 'due date' reminders."
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Librarian Attacks Amazon's Kindle Lending Program

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  • So do the libraries (Score:4, Informative)

    by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@NoSPam.barbara-hudson.com> on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:00PM (#37779334) Journal

    Amazon keeps your history of reading library ebooks on their corporate servers

    The libraries also keep a record of who has checked out what books. Otherwise, they wouldn't be able to send you a notice saying you have overdue books.

    They also are subject to FISA warrants (the "we can't tell you if your history has been subpoenaed") for your entire borrowing history.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:05PM (#37779496)

    I used to work for a company that makes library software and this is actually a very important issue in that field. While keeping a list of who has what is unavoidable, the librarians are very adamant that there should be no borrowing history stored. When you return the book they make a point to delete all records that show you ever had it.

  • by Phiz (21461) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:11PM (#37779646)

    Most libraries have privacy policies that state they delete the record of a book being checked out once it is returned. For example, you can find the policy for NYC public libraries here: http://www.nypl.org/help/about-nypl/legal-notices/privacy-policy [nypl.org]. They even state that they backup their data, and the record of your returned book may exist for an additional 4 weeks in their rolling backup system. I love that they give you this level of detail into how they operate.

  • by afidel (530433) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:26PM (#37780046)
    Actually your library records are no longer covered, that part of the PATRIOT Act was not renewed. FISA only covers foreign agents. I know because the head librarian for the Medina County Library system has been one of the champions against COPA, the Patriot Act provision, and any other legislation which restricts the freedom of her patrons to freely read what they want without the government peering over their shoulder.
  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@NoSPam.barbara-hudson.com> on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:44PM (#37782756) Journal
    The libraries can be ordered under a FISA warrant to hand over your entire history. Not just the books you've checked out, but also all other media (dvds, periodicals), any search requests you made while logged into their system either locally or remotely, any library-hosted events you attended, and any and all other information they have on you ... all while being required to NOT tell you that they've handed over the info even if you ask.
  • by sFurbo (1361249) on Friday October 21, 2011 @03:03AM (#37788186)
    IIRC, exactly that rule made some libraries ditch their records about books returned. The librarians seem to be some of the staunchest protectors of civil liberties. They didn't want to turn over anything to the authorities, so they minimised the amount of information they had.

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