Below is a brilliant action alert update on the online civil liberties group EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) regarding monitoring, database building and general loopholes in online privacy laws with regards to downloading of digital books (ebooks). If you are one of the many people (just like me) who absolutely love ebooks and want your downloading history and privacy to be protected, please go to https://secure.eff.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=433 and demand that the Google book search service should protect your privacy rights online.
Details given below from the EFF website:
Google is poised to radically expand its book service, monitoring the digital books you search, the pages you read, how long you spend on various pages, and even what you write down in the margins. Google could then combine your reading habits with other information it has about you from other Google services, creating a massive "digital dossier" about you, your interests, and your concerns. With numerous reports of government efforts to compel online and offline booksellers to turn over records about readers, the time is now for Google to pledge to protect reader privacy.
- Protect your reading records from government and third party fishing expeditions by responding only to properly-issued warrants and court orders, and by letting you know if someone has demanded access to information Google has collected about you.
- Make sure that you can still browse and read anonymously by not forcing you to register or give personal information and by deleting any logging information for all services after a maximum of 30 days.
- Separate data related to Google Book Search from any other information the company collects about you, unless you give it express permission.
- Give you the ability to edit and delete any information collected about you, transfer books from one account to another without tracking, and hide your "bookshelves" or other reading lists from others with access to your computer.
- Keep Google Book Search information private from third parties like credit card processors, book publishers, and advertisers.
Again, please sign the online petition at https://secure.eff.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=433 and forward the same to Google CEO Eric Schmidt if you want Google to stop maintaining online user records permanently and using it for other purposes without our knowledge.