Full privacy evaluation | See all
Thumbnail
Updated January 10, 2018

Amazon Kindle

  • Privacy polices do indicate a version or effective date.
  • Data are not sold or rented to third parties.
  • Data are shared for advertising or marketing.
  • Behavioral or contextual advertising is displayed.
  • Data are collected by third-party advertising or tracking services.
  • Data are used to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Third parties cannot use data to create ad profiles, data enhancement, and/or targeted advertisements.
The criteria for "Use with Caution" are narrowly focused around data uses related to creating profiles that aren't related to any educational purpose, and using data to target ads. We include both first party (ie, the vendor that builds the service) and third party (any company given access by the vendor) data use. It's worth highlighting that using data to profile students violates multiple state laws, and in some cases also violates federal law.

A service can be designated "Use with Caution" for either a lack of transparency around data use -- which creates the potential for profiling and behavioral targeting -- or for clearly stating that they use data to target advertisements and/or create profiles. As with any application being considered for use within schools, school and/or district staff should review the privacy policies and terms of service to ensure that they meet the legal and practical requirements of their state laws and school policies.

As with the "Not Recommended" criteria, a "Use with Caution" designation is NOT a sign that a vendor is necessarily doing anything unethical or illegal. It is a sign that, based on publicly available policies,  we do not have adequate guarantees that data will not be used by first or third parties to create non-educational profiles or to target behavioral ads.
Use with Caution
Full evaluation
40
Overall Scoreinfo-bubble

This overall score represents how the service addressed all our evaluation questions. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive policies.

Overview

The Amazon Kindle app puts millions of books at children's' and student's fingertips. The app is great for every reader, whether they are a book reader, magazine reader, or newspaper reader—and they don’t need to own a Kindle to use it. The Amazon Kindle app allows children to share information publicly with others and post comments or book reviews on other user's profiles through the use of a GoodReads account. The Amazon Kindle terms state that users may provide various personal information such as their name, birthdate, address, phone number, voice, photos, videos, and location when creating their Amazon.com account. The terms state that Amazon Kindle works to protect the security of users' information during transmission by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software, however, the terms do not describe whether users' data is encrypted while at rest. Lastly, the Amazon Kindle terms state they offer services intended for children, and in some cases may know a child is using the services (for example, when using a child profile).

Amazon Kindle content can be accessed through its website, and is available for download at the iOS App Store, the Google Play Store, and Amazon Appstore. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use used for this evaluation can be found on Amazon’s website, iOS App Store, the Google Play Store, and Amazon Appstore. Additionally, other policies used for this evaluation include: Interest-Based Ads, EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield, Kindle Store Terms of Use, and Children's Privacy Disclosure. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Read the Common Sense standard privacy report (SPR)arrow
The standard privacy report (SPR) displays the most important privacy practices from a product’s polices in a single easy-to-read outline. The report displays an alert when a particular privacy practice is risky, unclear, or not evaluated. This alert indicates more time should be focused on these particular details prior to use.
SafetyPromoting responsible use
arrow
Evaluating safety takes into consideration best practices that protect a user's physical and emotional health. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to safety.
6

The Amazon Kindle app allows children to share information publicly with others and post comments or book reviews on other user's profiles through the use of a GoodReads account. The terms state Amazon has the right, but not the obligation to monitor and edit or remove any activity or content posted on the Service.

PrivacyProtecting collected information
arrow
Evaluating privacy takes into consideration best practices that protect the disclosure of a user's personal information. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to privacy.
44

The Amazon Kindle terms state that users may provide various personal information such as their name, birthdate, address, phone number, voice, photos, videos, and location when creating their Amazon.com account. The service may also collect non-personal usage information automatically of certain user activity on the services that include, device information, browser information, and other types of information. The Amazon Kindle app integrates with a third-party service called GoodReads which also has a privacy policy located here.

The terms state the service may receive information about users’ location and their mobile device, including a unique identifier for their device which may be used to provide users with location-based services. On both Amazon sites and unaffiliated sites, Amazon displays interest-based advertising using information users make available when they interact with the sites, content, or services. Interest-based ads are displayed to users based on information from activities such as purchasing on the sites, visiting sites that contain Amazon content or ads, interacting with Amazon tools, or using payment services. In providing interest-based ads, the service follows the self-regulatory principles for online behavioral advertising developed by the Digital Advertising Alliance.

In addition, some third parties may provide Amazon information about users (such as the sites where users have been shown ads or demographic information) from offline and online sources so that the service can provide users advertising, search results, and other personalized content. The terms state the service does not provide any personal information to advertisers or to third party sites that display their interest-based ads and users can generally opt-out of receiving personalized ads from third party advertisers and ad networks. Also, the service does not associate users’ interaction or profile with unaffiliated sites with their identity in providing users with interest-based ads. However, the service does not serve interest-based ads to children when they are using a registered Amazon child profile.

Lastly, the terms state the service uses Child Personal Information to provide and improve their products and services, including personalizing offerings and recommendations for children, communicating information, enforcing parental controls, and giving parents visibility into how their children use the services.

SecurityProtecting against unauthorized access
arrow
Evaluating security takes into consideration best practices that protect the integrity and confidentiality of a user's data. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to security.
45

The terms state that Amazon Kindle works to protect the security of users' information during transmission by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software, however, the terms do not describe whether users' data is encrypted while at rest. In addition, the terms do not describe any other reasonable security practices or whether notification is provided to users in the event of a data breach.

ComplianceFollowing statutory laws and regulations
arrow
Evaluating compliance takes into consideration best practices of companies that collect personal information from children or students and the legal obligations for the privacy and security of that information. A higher score (up to 100) means the service provides more transparent and comprehensive responses related to compliance.
36

The Amazon Kindle terms state they offer services intended for children, and in some cases may know a child is using the services (for example, when using a child profile). In addition, the service would likely appeal to children under 13 years of age, which take into account several factors that include subject matter, visual content, age of models, and the activities provided.

The terms specify that Amazon does sell products to children, but it does sells products to adults, who can purchase products with a credit card or other permitted payment method. If a user is under 18, they may use the services only with involvement of a parent or guardian who must provide verifiable parental consent. In addition, parents and guardians may create profiles for teenagers. The terms state the service does not knowingly collect, use, or disclose Child Personal Information without parental consent and parents may withdraw consent provided for their child or request deletion of Child Personal Information at any time.

About Privacy Evaluations

The privacy evaluations have been designed with the help and support of a consortium of schools and districts across the United States. These evaluations are designed to streamline making an informed decision about the potential privacy implications of educational technology used to support teaching and learning.

Our core evaluation criteria are freely available and will remain freely available. People are encouraged to read the questions we use and the information security primer we released. Vendors are encouraged to use our questions and the information security primer to self-evaluate. You can also learn more about our evaluation process.

Please be in touch with any questions or feedback.