Friday, May 07, 2010
Amazon the New Big Brother?
With its new Kindle software update, Amazon has started collecting data on what readers highlight in their Kindle e-books--then sharing this information with others. The information given out doesn't specify highlighted sections by individual reader but aggregates the data and displays it to other readers.
Here's what Amazon says about the new feature:
We combine the highlights of all Kindle customers and identify the passages with the most highlights. The resulting Popular Highlights help readers to focus on passages that are meaningful to the greatest number of people. We show only passages where the highlights of at least three distinct customers overlap, and we do not show which customers made those highlights.
Amazon's list of "recently heavily highlighted" books.
The move, as you might expect, is controversial. Many readers don't like Amazon "looking over their shoulders" to see that they're highlighting, even if the data given out isn't reader-specific. Others think it's a cool new feature. What do you think about this?