From NPR:

Is Your E-Book Reading Up On You?

E-books are quickly going mainstream: They represent nearly one out of 10 trade books sold.

It’s easy to imagine a near future in which paper books are the exception, not the norm. But are book lovers ready to have their reading tracked?

Turns out the e-readers know how fast you read, how much at a time, even if you skip to the end. Oh, yes – and where you read.

Kindles, iPads and other e-readers have geo-location abilities; using GPS or data from Wi-Fi and cell phone towers, it wouldn’t be difficult for the devices to track their own locations in the physical world.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Sony wouldn’t talk to NPR reporter Martin Kaste, but his piece does include a handy (and extensive) comparison chart from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit privacy-rights group.

Final word goes to author Stephen King:

“Ultimately, this sort of thing scares the hell out of me,” King says. “But it is the way that things are.”

Just not necessarily the way some people would like them.

John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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