Congress is concerned over privacy issues with Amazon’s new Silk browser

One of the more interesting things about Amazon’s new Fire tablet is their own browser called Silk. What makes the browser interesting is that it uses a “split” design that has any browser traffic using Silk going through the Amazon servers.

This apparently has gotten a few folks in Congress concerned because of possible privacy issues. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) has come out saying that the idea of Amazon funneling all the traffic through its servers is bothersome to say the least.

Not to be left out Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) has sent a letter to Amazon seeking some clarification on the possible privacy issues. In his letter MArkey is asking:

  • What information does Amazon plan to collect about users of the Kindle Fire?
  • How does Amazon intend to use this information?
  • How will Amazon convey its privacy policy to Fire and Silk users?
  • If Amazon plans to collect information about its users’ Internet browsing habits, will customers be able to affirmatively opt in to participate in the data sharing program?

As Nate Anderson at Ars Technica noted in a post today much of Markey’s questions have already been answered but the fact is that the amount of user data that will be going through the Amazon servers is staggering let alone that Amazon will have total access to all of it.