In September, Amazon announced plans to launch its 7 inch tablet, the Kindle Fire. The tablet, which will be released on November 15, includes Amazon's own web browser, Silk. Amazon has said the Silk browser will use Amazon's cloud servers to help speed up load times. However, there have been some concerns expressed that this kind of set up will also allow Amazon to track exactly where users of the Kindle Fire are surfing when they use the Silk browser.
While Kindle Fire users do have the option to turn off the cloud-based features of the Silk browser, that hasn't stopped a US congressman from sending a letter to Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos asking for more information about Silk. The letter, from US House of Representatives member Edward Markey (D-Mass.) was posted on his web site this week. Rep. Markey says in his letter that he has some concerns that the combination of the Kindle Fire and the cloud-enabled Silk browser " ... will enable Amazon to collect and utilize an extraordinary amount of information about its users' Internet surfing and buying habits."
Rep. Markey would like Bezos to answer a number of questions about the tablet and the browser including what information Amazon plans to collect from users, how does Amazon intend to use the information and more. Rep, Markey would like to receive the answers from Bezos by November 4. Amazon has already posted its Terms and Conditions for the Silk browser where it states that it "temporarily logs web addresses" while running in cloud mode but that it normally doesn't keep that information "for longer than 30 days."