In a letter to Rep. Edward Markey, Amazon this week reiterated that the Silk browser on its Kindle Fire tablet does not collect identifying information about its users, but Markey said he was not satisfied with Amazon’s responses.
“Amazon’s responses to my inquiries do not provide enough detail about how the company intends to use customer information, beyond acknowledging that the company uses this valuable information,” Markey said in a statement. “Amazon states ‘Customer information is an important part of our business,’ but it is also important for customers to know how the company uses their personal information.”
Silk is a “split browser” that partially lives on the Fire tablet and partially lives in the cloud, producing a faster browsing experience. Basically, most of the heavy lifting is handled by Amazon’s EC2 and C3 services. As PCMag’s ExtremeTech described it, “Amazon sucks down the target Web site, lays it out, renders it–and then ships it off as a much smaller, condensed package to the Kindle Fire tablet.”
Media reports suggesting that Amazon might be able to track the activities of Kindle Fire tablet users via Silk, however, caught Markey’s eye and in October, he asked Amazon for more details about how data is collected via Silk.
Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, said today that “Amazon is collecting a massive amount of information about Kindle Fire users, and it has a responsibility to be transparent with its customers.”