We’ve previously mentioned that Amazon’s Silk Web Browser isn’t exactly new technology – Opera has been doing it for years now. While the latter company has gone about its business without raising any concerns, it looks like Amazon isn’t faring too well in this department. In case you need a refresher, Amazon’s Silk Web Browser is a web browser for its upcoming Kindle Fire tablet, that lets users surf the web at blazing speeds due to its optimization technology. Every page you visit with the browser, Amazon optimizes and compresses it on its own servers before you even get to read it on the tablet, hence the increased speed and faster load times.
But because every page goes through Amazon’s servers, the company is capable of collecting and storing information about your surfing habits. What sort of sites you like to visit, how long you spend on them, and what you do there – Amazon can have access to all those details. Now it may not be a big deal to some people but it looks like the Congress of the United States has a problem with it. Because of that, Ed Markey, co-Chair of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus has posed the following questions to Amazon and expects answers in the next few weeks:
What information does Amazon plan to collect about users of the Kindle Fire?
How does Amazon intend to use this information?
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?
Amazon has previously mentioned that data collected will be anonymous and that users have the option to turn off feature if they wish, so it’s puzzling to why Congress would make a big fuss about this. Not to mention, if users are unhappy with Silk, they could always just download another browser for the tablet – after all, that’s the beauty of Android: customization. No word on what Congress will do if they are unsatisfied with Amazon’s answers, but what is your take on the issue? Do you have a problem with Amazon collecting data with its Silk Web Browser?