It’s this simple: If you landed on this page, it means you were targeted in an ad.
Amazon tracks your purchases on its site, your activity on other websites, your voice commands, locations, grocery shopping and even extensively tracks your reading habits.
Bookbub sends emails directly to you and over ten millions others. It tracks if you open the email, if you click on one of the books in the email and when you buy something afterward.
So who does Amazon & Bookbub share this information with? What is done with it? And how does it affect my privacy? I’m going to tell you now.
They keep your information and habits to sell more advertisements, which is where the big money is for them.
On Bookbub, if you selected that you enjoy Crime Fiction, then you will be targeted by publishers and authors in future emails with offers to buy another Crime Fiction novel.
On your Kindle, if you have bought Historical Fiction novels in the past, Amazon’s advertising platform offers this information to publishers and authors so they can target you in advertisements (have you ever noticed those tiny little ads on the bottom of the Bookbub emails? Those are authors that were not accepted in Bookbub’s Featured program).
So is this evil? Is this immoral? Is it illegal?
No, no and no. It’s actually convenient. But it does make Amazon and Bookbub millions upon millions of dollars based on your interests.
As I’ve mentioned, if you landed on this page, it is because I targeted you in an ad with the keywords “Kindle” and/or “Bookbub.” Then you clicked on it.
Under California’s new privacy law, you can actually request from Amazon exactly what information they are saving. The Guardian did it recently, and although the article intones that something dastardly is going on, in reality it wasn’t all that dastardly at all.
The fact of the matter is, Kindle and Bookbub offer convenient ways to get the books you like, right in front of your eyes.
Here’s some info from a recent Pew Research Center Poll: “47% (polled) say the basic bargain offered by retail loyalty cards – namely, that stores track their purchases in exchange for occasional discounts – is acceptable to them, even as a third (32%) call it unacceptable.”
But, “Six-in-ten Americans (61%) have said they would like to do more to protect their privacy. Additionally, two-thirds have said current laws are not good enough in protecting people’s privacy, and 64% support more regulation of advertisers.”
Now, if we were to suddenly have dictatorial governments sweep across the wealthiest countries in the world and work in cahoots with big businesses to imprison those who disagree with them, well that would be, um, ok maybe collecting our information is a nightmare.