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Wednesday News: Sony Reader releases its iOS App; Britney Spears fiction; Amazon Prime goes monthly; EU to end Agency

Wednesday News: Sony Reader releases its iOS App; Britney Spears fiction;...

Sony Reader iOS App

1) Existing agency contracts with Apple will be terminated.

2) Apple will allow any other “major international ebook publisher” to terminate its agency agreement immediately. If the publishers take no action, Apple is to terminate the agreement.

3) The publishers will offer each retailer the option to terminate the agency agreement if the agreement restricts the retailer’s ability to change the price or if the agreement contains an MFN clause. If the retailer does not respond, the publisher must terminate the agreement.

4) For two years, the publishers agree to not restrict the pricing of ebooks by retailers.

5) The aggregate value of the price discounts or promotions offered by any retailer should not exceed the aggregate amount equal to the total commissions the publisher pays to that retailer over a 12-month period in connection with the sale of its e-books to consumers.

There is no monetary rebates mentioned in the Proposed Agreement (PDF).  The Hachette and S&S agency pricing the US should end any day now.

“Kevin Federline’s aunt Diane Story has written an erotic novel “inspired” by the former dancer’s ill-fated marriage to Britney is exclusively reporting.”

Privacy and eReading Part 2: Amazon, BN, Kobo & Sony

Privacy and eReading Part 2: Amazon, BN, Kobo & Sony

Image via Big Stock Photo


The following is a summary of the data collected by Amazon, BN, Kobo, and Sony.  According to the EFF charts compiled in 2010, the safest way to read is to download books to Adobe Digital Editions because ADE does not track your reading habits.  Your purchasing data, however, is still compiled by the various retailers.

The summary is divided by type and then whether the retailer collects the data.


Amazon (privacy policy):  collects “your name, address, and phone numbers; credit card information; people to whom purchases have been shipped, including addresses and phone number; people (with addresses and phone numbers) listed in 1-Click settings; e-mail addresses of your friends and other people; content of reviews and e-mails to us; personal description and photograph in Your Profile; and financial information, including Social Security and driver’s license numbers.”

  • From mobile devices, your location if that is enabled on your phone.

BN (privacy policy):  collects personal data described as “your name in combination with other information that we collect about you. For example, personal information can include your name in combination with your e-mail address, billing address, shipping address, phone number, or credit card information.”

Kobo (privacy policy):  Collects “name, email address, password, and country of residence.” and “Unless the purpose is self-evident due to the nature of the transaction in question, We will identify the purposes for which personal information is collected at or before the time the information is collected.”

Sony (privacy policy): One of the most intrusive retailers.

  • Collects email address, name, mailing address, telephone number, social security number, credit card number, or persistent identifier (such as a customer number held in a cookie) and
  • “may” monitor what software you have installed “to detect the absence or presence of any versions of software or software updates installed on your computer and to track and monitor content you are downloading, streaming, using or otherwise accessing. Any or all of these activities can occur periodically or when necessary, without any other specific notice to you.”
  • “may also collect, aggregate and maintain anonymous information about you, such as your hobbies, interests, purchases, downloads, page visits, music preferences, and the like.”

Data Drilldown

Data: Annotations, bookmarks, notes, highlights or similar markings

  • Amazon: Yes
    • The Software will provide Amazon with data about your Kindle and its interaction with the Service (such as available memory, up-time, log files, and signal strength).
    • Information related to the Digital Content on your Kindle and Other Devices and your use of it (such as last page read and content archiving).
    • Annotations, bookmarks, notes, highlights, or similar markings you make using your Kindle or Reading Application.
  • BN: Yes, as well as Device registration, Device settings, usage, firmware version, search queries, downloads, sideloaded content, and Device configuration and Device or service information relating to any malfunction of the Device
  • Kobo: Yes, Kobo tracks “Your usage, such as when and how often You use the Kobo Service as well as information You display or click on within the Kobo Service (including UI elements, settings, and other information), and may share this information to trusted third parties, including Our publishers or other suppliers of content.”
  • Sony:  Did not explicitly say but it’s privacy policies are very broad. See above.

IP Address, Date and Time You Visit, The Pages You Visit

  • Amazon: Yes (the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet; login; e-mail address; password; computer and connection information such as browser type, version, and time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system, and platform; purchase history)
  • BN: Yes (browser, domain and host from which you access the Internet; date and time site is accessed)
  • Kobo: Yes (browser type and IP address)
  • Sony: Yes (computers’, network enabled devices’, systems’ and/or networks’ IP addresses and message information and aggregate information in a non-personally identifiable manner using our technology, such as visitors’ and users’ browsing or use activities, the domain or mobile phone area code or device number and carrier from which a visitor accesses or clicks through to a website, page views, downloads, streaming and the like)


  • Amazon: Yes, web browser
  • BN: Yes and if you disable cookies, you cannot place an order.
  • Kobo: Yes, to identify what web browser you are using and when you visit what pages on their website.  Kobo does not “collect personal information, and We do not combine information collected through cookies with other personal information to tell Us who You are or what Your screen name or e-mail address is.”
  • Sony: Yes (f you block your cookies, you will not be able to use the eBook Service and they “may also use technology to detect the absence or presence of any versions of software or software updates installed on your computer and to track and monitor content you are downloading, streaming, using or otherwise accessing”)
Transparent GIFS
  • Amazon: Yes, to see if you’ve opened the email.
  • Kobo: Yes, used to determine which emails are opened by recipients
  • BN: Yes, used to (1) send you e-mails in that format; and (2) determine if you have opened their e-mail messages.
  • Sony: Yes “for purposes such as researching and tracking certain usage, site interaction, and other activities on our website, on certain network enabled devices, and in emails you receive”
Escaping them
Amazon: If you do not want to receive e-mail or other mail adjust your Customer Communication Preferences.
BN: To remove yourself from mailings, call Customer Service Center at 1-800-THE-BOOK (1-800-824-2665). International customers should call 201-559-3882.
Any account holder can opt-out of the receipt of any promotional communications by logging onto their Account and following the instructions under “Communication Preferences”.
call customer service at 1-800-THE-BOOK [1-800-843-2665]
Kobo:  Upon request, you can find out what personal information they’ve collected and how they have used it.
Sony:  Need to know exactly where the information is collected in order to go and uncheck a box. In addition, with each commercial email you receive from SEL or any of its business units, you will be given the opportunity to indicate if you do not wish to receive future commercial emails from SEL or the SEL business unit which sent it to you.
[email protected] or write to us at:Sony Electronics Inc.
Personal Information Management Office
1 Sony Drive, MD 1E4
Park Ridge, New Jersey 07656
  • To opt out of information related to consumer products, go to
  • To opt out of information related to professional products, go to
  • To opt out of Reader Store newsletters and information, visit the “My Account” section of your Reader Store and revise your email preferences.
  • Upon written request, Sony will provide you access to the personal information requested.