The E-Snoopers: Is Your E-Reader Safe?

We know that marketers track us on the internet. We’re not concerned. And yet when B&N sends an email to remind us we “left” something in our “cart,” it feels like an intrusion.

And people track people, too. 

I left the e-reader on the picnic table.  A relative checked it out while I was grilling vegetables.  Then, during dinner, she informed me jocularly that I was not reading much.

Now that startled me. “What?”

“Well, I looked at your e-reader.  I didn’t see much reading being done.”  She paused.  “I mean I didn’t check the status or anything…”

I was unable to follow her.

“I just mean…hardly anything is marked ‘read.’”

“That feature doesn’t work very well,” I snapped.  (It’s true:  it’s erratic.  And since I keep a book journal, I don’t need it.)

But what’s with this e-snooping? I’ve heard of people tracking their husbands on phones, or reading their texts—with appalling results, since phones are an adulterer’s worst enemy. I suppose this nosy relative had to check my e-reader because I don’t have a Facebook account or a cell phone.

This does, however, give meaning to all those warnings we’ve had about the loss of privacy.  I’m a little hazy about e-readers—they shoot data to the big corporations, Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo (if that’s still around), etc. —but the data doesn’t seem to be meaningful, or even accurate. 

My cousin the cataloguer says this kind of snooping goes on all the time at libraries, and that it’s more secure to do computer searches at home than at a library.  (Homeless people, beware!)

I mostly read book reviews online… and, yes, I do intend to read the Anne Tyler in paperback.  Happy, everyone?  Nonetheless, I now have a glimmer of how someone can attempt to twist your data.

It makes you want to throw out your electronic devices, doesn’t it?  But there just aren’t enough places to “recycle” all of them.

That’s living in the 21st century…