EFF: "We are generally satisfied with the privacy design of Silk"

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11 Responses to “EFF: "We are generally satisfied with the privacy design of Silk"”

  1. V says:

    “Silk is billed as being a very vast browser”
    It’s got vast…. tracts of browsing!

  2. MrJM says:

    “Generally satisfied” — the two most beautiful words in the world.

  3. ComradeQuestions says:

    This sounds a like surprisingly good anonymizer.  The only way for third parties to find out who’s visiting a website would be if the ISP between Amazon and the site, or the site itself, are logging XFF headers.

    Or, an alternate reading:  Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children!?!?

  4. Shiawase says:

    “First, the “acceleration” is user-configurable, and you can just turn it off if you’re worried.”

    Shouldn’t the defaults for privacy and security in a well designed system be “on” and you then actively turn them off if you aren’t worried and (perhaps) understand the implications.

  5. bkad says:

    Shouldn’t the defaults for privacy and security in a well designed system be “on” and you then actively turn them off if you aren’t worried and (perhaps) understand the implications.

    That sounds nice, but in this case the value Amazon is offering and marketing is not privacy but ‘fast browsing’. If a customer bought the product and did not experience this benefit out of the box, he or she might believe (correctly, in my opinion) that he or she had been cheated.

    • MrWoods says:

      Sounds reasonable, then again users of software hate making decisions, especially decisions they aren’t ready to make.  I’d bet most users prefer fast browsing to privacy, if so Amazon did the right thing by just picking a default setting and letting you change it.
      Joel on Software had a good overview of why options stink: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/chapters/fog0000000059.html

  6. pablohoney says:

    I don’t know – seems like they could prompt you when you first turn on the device – akin to how iOS 5 now prompts you whether you want to use Location Services when you setup the device. It doesn’t turn location services on by default. 

    “Would you like to enable Silk acceleration?” (yes) (no) (privacy policy)

    • bkad says:

      I don’t know – seems like they could prompt you when you first turn on the device – akin to how iOS 5 now prompts you whether you want to use Location Services when you setup the device. It doesn’t turn location services on by default. “Would you like to enable Silk acceleration?” (yes) (no) (privacy policy)

      That would be a very reasonable compromise.

  7. Gus Strange says:

    I don’t know about this “lightly” logging business.  Sounds shady.

  8. thebelgianpanda says:

    As far as large corporations go, I guess I trust Amazon more than most others.  Since I do the majority of online shopping with them, they already know more about my spending habits than anyone other than my bank (along with credit card numbers, addresses, and quite a bit of browsing habits).  If I can trust them with that data, I feel comfortable trusting them with casual browsing data.

    For sensitive browsing though I always proxy through a few servers, but I just don’t see myself needing to do that when I get a Fire.  That’s what my Live CD + laptop is for.

    So all in all, if Amazon wants to pop a dialog asking which mode a user would prefer, I won’t have any complaints.  I’ll just choose accelerated, and others can choose private.

  9. Joel Cretan says:

    Does anyone know if EFF has offered a similar opinion about Opera Turbo, a service the Opera Mini browser offers?  It’s nice and fast but I don’t trust it. Here’s what Opera says, which doesn’t really satisfy me, except for the part about HTTPS sessions, which is good:

    When Opera Turbo is enabled, the service will compress network traffic, thereby increasing download speed and reducing data volume. The service requests normal Web content through an Opera Software proxy server. Opera Turbo will exclude Web pages located on an intranet or by using secure connections (HTTPS). Opera collects IP addresses, usage patterns, and the point in time at which the service is used for the purpose debugging, maintenance, optimization of the service, or maintaining the customer relationship. Analysis of service usage is conducted by aggregating data, anonymizing individual identities.

    http://www.opera.com/privacy/

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