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Silk browser on Kindle Fire raising privacy concerns

Amazon look to have Apple in their sights, with the upcoming release of the bargain priced 7 inch Amazon Kindle Fire. For the last week or two however they have been dealing with privacy concerns over the upcoming Silk browser.

The Kindle Fire has not been released yet, but technology analysts have been debating concerns over the privacy risks associated with the new browser platform. Silk runs on the device, but it also uses the Amazon EC2 network to gather information on what to ‘preload’ for the user.

The Electronic Freedom Foundation, a privacy watchdog decided to get involved but had a phone briefing with Amazon last week and many of their concerns seem to have been addressed.

Amazon are keen to help speed up the browsing experience for users of the new Kindle Fire tablet. The hybrid system they intend to use will certainly help, as the servers will analyse the user browsing patterns and begin to preload some data to enhance speed. The Opera Mini Browser uses similar concepts to accelerate page loading.

The EFF said that Amazon will need to be watched, to ensure that they don’t misuse the browsing data they will be collecting to help improve the overall speeds. Those who are concerned can turn the ‘online’ booster off.

Amazon have said that they won’t be storing personal details and they will be encrypting data between the device itself and their cloud system. The company knows that this will be scrutinised and they seem to be saying all the right things to reassure potential customers.

There will be a huge customer base for the new Kindle Fire, with a $199 proposed release price (UK is yet to be confirmed), it is half the price of the iPad and will target a large audience who have yet to make the jump to a tablet. With the huge Amazon Store infrastructure, customers will also feel very safe knowing they are well supported with updates and software downloads direct to their device.

Kitguru says: Silk sounds like a great system, let us hope Amazon stay true to their statements regarding data collection.

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