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. This evaluation only considers policies that have been made publicly available prior to an individual using the application or service.

Additionally, other policies used for this evaluation include:

Safety

Amazon's policy says it 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.

Privacy

The terms say 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.

Security

The terms state that Amazon works to protect the security of users' information during transmission by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) software. Additionally, the terms say Amazon maintains physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards in connection with the collection, storage, and disclosure of personal customer information. However, the terms do not describe whether notification is provided to users in the event of a data breach.

Compliance

The Amazon 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.

Overall Score

Every privacy rating includes an overall score. A higher score (up to 100%) means the product provides more transparent privacy policies with better practices to protect user data. The score is best used is as an indicator of how much additional work a person will need to do to make an informed decision about a product.

Basic ScoreFull Score
Comprehensive Assessment6254

Concerns

The privacy evaluation process summarizes the policies of an application or service into concern categories based on a subset of evaluation questions that can be used to quickly identify particular practices of a vendor’s policies. These concerns are composed of evaluation questions that can be used to calculate scores relative to that concern.

ConcernBasic ScoreFull Score
Data Collection: Protecting personal information7565
Data Sharing: Protecting data from third parties7575
Data Security: Protecting against unauthorized access6755
Data Rights: Controlling rights to data8865
Data Sold: Preventing sale of data7545
Data Safety: Promoting responsible use1335
Ads & Tracking: Prohibiting the exploitation of users' decision making process5055
Parental Consent: Protecting children’s personal information10075
School Purpose: Following student data privacy laws00

Statutes

Each statute or regulation is associated with one or more evaluation questions. As such, we can calculate scores for each statute or regulation using only those questions associated with the statute or regulation. Each specific statute or regulation's score serves as an indirect proxy indicating the likelihood of the application or service satisfying all of its compliance obligations.

StatuteBasic ScoreFull Score
California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA)7567
Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)6754
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)7835
Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA)6247
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)7963

Privacy Policy Details

1: Transparency

1.1: Policy Version
  • Privacy policies do indicate a version or effective date.
  • Privacy policies indicate a changelog or past policy version is available.
1.2: Policy Notice
  • Users are notified if there are any material changes to the policies.
  • Privacy policies indicate the method used to notify a user when policies are updated.
1.3: Policy Changes
  • Unclear whether users are notified prior to any material changes to the policies.
  • Changes to the policies are effective immediately and continued use of the product indicates consent.
1.4: Policy Coverage
  • Privacy policies indicate the products that are covered by the policies.
1.5: Policy Contact
  • Users can contact the vendor about any privacy policy questions, complaints, or material changes to the policies.
1.6: Policy Principles
  • Privacy policies do indicate any privacy principles, layered notices, or a table of contents.
1.7: Policy Language
  • Privacy policies are available in multiple languages.
1.8: Intended Use
  • Not intended for children under 13.
  • Intended for teens.
  • Intended for adults over 18.
  • Intended for parents or guardians.
  • Unclear whether intended for students.
  • Unclear whether intended for teachers.

2: Focused Collection

2.1: Data Collection
  • Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected.
  • The categories of collected personally identifiable information are indicated.
  • Geolocation data are collected.
  • Biometric or health data are collected.
  • Behavioral data are collected.
  • Sensitive data are collected.
  • Non-personally identifiable information is collected.
  • Unclear whether free or reduced lunch status is collected.
2.2: Data Source
  • Unclear whether personal information or education records are collected from preK-12 students.
  • Personal information from children under 13 years of age is collected online.
2.3: Data Exclusion
  • Specific types of personal information are not collected.
  • Unclear whether specific types of collected information are excluded from the privacy policy.
2.4: Data Limitation
  • Collection or use of data is limited to product requirements.

3: Data Sharing

3.1: Data Shared With Third Parties
  • Collected information is shared with third parties.
  • The categories of information shared with third parties are indicated.
3.2: Data Use by Third Parties
  • The purpose for sharing a user's personal information with third parties is indicated.
  • Data are shared for analytics.
  • Unclear whether data are shared for research and/or product improvement.
  • Data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
3.3: Data Not Shared With Third Parties
  • Unclear whether there are specific categories of information that are not shared with third parties.
3.4: Data Sold to Third Parties
  • Data are not sold or rented to third parties.
3.5: Third-Party Data Acquisition
  • Personal information from users is acquired from third parties.
3.6: Third-Party Links
  • Links to third-party external websites are not age-appropriate.
3.7: Third-Party Data Access
  • Third parties are authorized to access a user's information.
3.8: Third-Party Data Collection
  • Personal information of users is collected by a third party.
3.9: Third-Party Data Misuse
  • Unclear whether personal information can be deleted from a third party if found to be misused.
3.10: Third-Party Service Providers
  • Data are shared with third-party service providers.
  • The roles of third-party service providers are indicated.
3.11: Third-Party Affiliates
  • The categories of third parties that receive personal information are indicated.
3.12: Third-Party Policies
  • Links to privacy policies of third-party companies are not available.
3.13: Third-Party Data Combination
  • Unclear whether data can be combined with data from third-party sources.
  • Unclear whether data shared with third parties can be combined by third parties for their own purposes.
3.14: Third-Party Authentication
  • Unclear whether this product supports social or federated login.
  • Unclear whether personal information from social or federated login providers is collected.
  • Unclear whether personal Information is shared with social or federated login providers.
3.15: De-identified or Anonymized Data
  • Unclear whether user information is shared in an anonymous or deidentified format.
  • Unclear whether the vendor describes their deidentification process of user information.
3.16: Third-Party Contractual Obligations
  • Contractual limits are placed on third-party data use.
  • Unclear whether contractual limits prohibit third parties from reidentifying deidentified information.

4: Respect for Context

4.1: Data Use
  • Unclear whether use of information is limited to the purpose for which it was collected.
  • The purpose for which data atr collected is indicated.
4.2: Data Combination
  • Unclear whether this product treats combined information as personally identifiable information (PII).
4.3: Data Notice
  • Notice is provided if the context in which data are collected changes.
4.4: Data Changes
  • Consent is obtained if the practices in which data are collected change.
4.5: Policy Enforcement
  • Accounts may not be terminated if users engage in any prohibited activities.

5: Individual Control

5.1: User Content
  • Users can create or upload content.
5.2: User Consent
  • Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
5.3: Remedy Process
  • A grievance or remedy mechanism is available for users to file a complaint.
5.4: Data Settings
  • Users can control their information through privacy settings.
5.5: Data Disclosure
  • Users can opt out from the disclosure or sale of their data to a third party.
  • Unclear whether users can request to know what personal information has been shared with third parties for commercial purposes.
  • Unclear whether notice is provided in the event the vendor receives a government or legal request for a user’s information.
5.6: Intellectual Property
  • Users retain ownership of their data.
  • A copyright license is claimed to data or content collected from a user.
  • Unclear whether any copyright license to a user's data is limited in scope or duration.
  • Notice is provided to users when their content is removed or disabled because of an alleged copyright violation.

6: Access and Accuracy

6.1: Data Access
  • Processes to access and review user data are available.
  • Unclear whether permissions, roles, or access controls are available to restrict who has access to data.
  • Processes to review data are available for the school, parents, or students.
6.2: Data Integrity
  • Unclear whether the vendor maintains the accuracy of data they collect.
6.3: Data Correction
  • Processes to modify inaccurate data are available.
  • Unclear whether the school, parents, or students can modify data.
  • Unclear whether the time period for the vendor to modify inaccurate data is indicated.
6.4: Data Retention
  • A data-retention policy is available.
  • The retention time period of a user's data can be changed upon a valid inspection request.
6.5: Data Deletion
  • Unclear whether this product deletes data when no longer necessary.
  • Unclear whether a user's data are deleted upon account cancellation or termination.
  • Processes to delete user data are available.
  • Processes for the school, parents, or students to delete data are available.
  • Unclear whether the time period for the vendor to delete data is indicated.
6.6: Data Portability
  • Processes to download user data are available.
  • Unclear whether a user can assign an authorized account manager or legacy contact.

7: Data Transfer

7.1: Data Handling
  • User information can be transferred to a third party.
  • Unclear whether notice is provided to users if the vendor assigns its rights or delegates its duties to another company.
  • Unclear whether users are notified if their information is transferred to a third party.
7.2: Transfer Request
  • User information can be deleted prior to its transfer to a third party.
7.3: Onward Contractual Obligations
  • Third-party transfer is contractually required to use the same privacy practices.

8: Security

8.1: User Identity
  • A user's identity is verified with additional personal information.
8.2: User Account
  • Account creation is required.
  • Parental controls or managed accounts are available.
  • Unclear whether two-factor account protection is available.
8.3: Third-Party Security
  • Unclear whether third-party contractual security protections are required.
8.4: Data Confidentiality
  • Industry best practices are used to protect data.
  • Employee or physical access to user information is limited.
8.5: Data Transmission
  • All data in transit are encrypted.
8.6: Data Storage
  • Unclear whether this product encrypts all data at rest.
  • Personal information of users is stored with a third party.
8.7: Data Breach
  • Unclear whether this product provides notice in the event of a data breach.
8.8: Data Oversight
  • Data-privacy and security-compliance audits are performed.

9: Responsible Use

9.1: Social Interactions
  • Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users and/or students.
  • Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Profile information is shared for social interactions.
9.2: Data Visibility
  • Personal information is displayed publicly.
  • Users can control how their data are displayed.
9.3: Monitor and Review
  • User-created content is reviewed, screened, or monitored by the vendor.
  • Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
  • Unclear whether social interactions between users are moderated.
  • Unclear whether social interactions of users are logged.
9.4: Report Content
  • Unclear whether users can filter or block inappropriate content.
  • Unclear whether users can report abuse or cyberbullying.
9.5: Internet Safety
  • Unclear whether the vendor provides links to tools or processes that support safe and appropriate social interactions.

10: Advertising

10.1: Vendor Communications
  • A user can receive service- or administrative-related communications from the vendor.
10.2: Traditional Advertising
  • Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
10.3: Behavioral Advertising
  • Behavioral or targeted advertising is displayed.
10.4: Ad Tracking
  • 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.
  • Data profiles are created and used for data enhancement, and/or targeted advertisements.
10.5: Filtered Advertising
  • Children do not receive any inappropriate advertisements.
10.6: Marketing Communications
  • The vendor can send marketing messages.
  • Unclear whether this vendor provides promotional sweepstakes, contests, or surveys.
10.7: Unsubscribe
  • Users can opt out of traditional, contextual, or behavioral advertising.
  • Users can opt out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
10.8: Do Not Track
  • Unclear whether this product responds to Do Not Track or other opt-out mechanisms.
  • The vendor does provide a method for users to opt-out from third-party tracking.

11: Compliance

11.1: Children Under 13
  • Vendor does have actual knowledge that personal information from users under 13 years of age is collected.
  • Children's privacy is applicable.
  • Account creation is restricted for users under 13 years of age.
  • Vendor does restrict in-app purchases for users under 13 years of age.
  • Unclear whether the vendor participates in an FTC-approved COPPA safe harbor program.
11.2: Students in K–12
  • Unclear whether this product is primarily used by, designed for, and marketed toward students in grades preK–12.
  • Unclear whether the product creates education records.
  • Unclear whether this product provides notification of a contract or additional rights.
  • Unclear whether this product designates the vendor as a school official.
11.3: Parental Consent
  • Parental consent is required.
  • Unclear whether this product limits parental consent with respect to third parties.
  • Parents can withdraw consent for the further collection of their child's information.
  • Unclear whether this product deletes children's personal information if collected without parental consent.
  • Parental consent notice and method for submission are provided.
  • Unclear whether the vendor can use collected information to support the “internal operations” of the product.
  • Unclear whether this product indicates COPPA parental consent exceptions.
  • Unclear whether the vendor indicates FERPA parental consent exceptions.
  • Unclear whether this product discloses directory information.
  • Unclear whether this product transfers parental consent obligations to the school or district.
11.4: Legal Requirements
  • The legal jurisdiction that applies to the laws governing any dispute is indicated.
  • A user is required to waive the right to a jury trial, or settle any disputes by arbitration.
  • Unclear whether a user is required to waive the right to join a class action lawsuit.
  • A vendor will disclose personal information to law enforcement.
11.5: Certification
  • Unclear whether the vendor has signed a privacy pledge or received a privacy certification.
11.6: International Laws
  • A user's data are subject to International data transfer or jurisdiction laws, such as the GDPR.
  • The vendor has indicated it is a Data Controller or Data Processor.