Amazon just announced their new product: Kindle fire – a tablet that runs Android with a little touch from Amazon. What is interesting about this new tablet is the browser it comes with, called Silk. Amazon crafted this browser having in mind both speed of mobile browsing and battery life and how it does that, is by using their Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud also known as EC2 that would behave as an intelligent proxy. Silk will use the power of EC2 to retrieve the pages and pre-render the objects in a way that won’t require too much power from the tablet.
That means, all your traffic will go via Amazon rather than directly to the pages you want to access, which of course raises some privacy alarms: all your habits, history, basically all you data will transit Amazon. Google is watching you, Facebook keeps all the data you give them, but Amazon just went to a new level and will see EVERYTHING you do online.
Also the Silk’s Terms and Conditions states that your IP and MAC address will be logged and retained for 30 days. To make matters worse, as an US company Amazon meaning that the company could be asked by an US court to intercept and record you secure communications.
Ok, the good news is, that Amazon will support an “off-cloud” mode for Silk, letting users to opt-out EC2. So… is that 1-2 milliseconds faster web worth trading your privacy in?