Amazon Silk, cloud-powered browser in Fire, raises privacy concerns

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks at a news conference during the launch of Amazon's new tablets in New York, September 28, 2011. Inc unveiled its long-awaited tablet computer on Wednesday with a $199 price tag, potentially cheap enough to give Apple Inc's iPad some serious competition for the first time. Credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

In all the hype about Amazon's new Fire tablet, dubbed by many a real iPad competitor, the details of the new Silk browser have been overlooked. Some believe it revolutionary, some believe it derivative, and some see another loss of privacy.

Silk runs on both the tablet hardware and on back-end processes powered by Amazon Web Services. Mobile browsers need some help, because mobile devices don't have the horsepower that laptops and desktops do, making performance anemic. But by leveraging their huge back-end processing power, Amazon claims performance will be better than other mobile browsers.

Privacy fans point out that since every Web browser activity will be performed at least partly by Amazon, they will know much more about your mobile browsing habits than anyone else. Too much, to many observers. And therein lies the argument.

Fine with me

Yes, any chance we’d get a desktop version? Any how does this differ from Opera Mobile’s tech? Besides the obvious that silk uses EC2. But both process on the Backend.

Shai Perednik on

I was very surprised as to why Amazon choose to do this given there's a dual core processor inside. Is the OMAP that slow?

+++ath0 on

Now'll they'll be able to send my stuff without me having to go to the trouble of ordering it.

thejackle on

Is this any different than Google making the Chrome browser and having the ability to legally track every page visited?

tedr on

It's all been done

So, this is basically another Opera Mini, or Skyfire Browser, then?

Spade on

Sounds like the standard BlackBerry BES/BIS system, which caches and compresses data, plus pre-scales images for your device. It *was* ground-breaking technology, circa 2001.

Pengles on

Privacy? Not here

can it be turned off?

scott galvin on

The Fire is renamed The SpyPad.

The Taft Hotel on

“Cloud” is a cute way of saying remote server. The server owner can potentially access–or even control–your data. Today’s cloud is on’s server, tomorrow it could be on a government server.

Gordon Inkeles on

This spyware is an obvious abuse of private/confidential communications. In effect mass personal & industrial espionage, illegal interception, and copyright theft. It should put people in jail. on

Do you believe Amazon's primary customer base really cares about privacy when browsing on their new Fire tablet, especially since Amazon subsidizes the cost to make it hundreds less than the iPad?

Now Read This: IT Resume Makeover: Our top 11 tips
View Comments
You Might Like
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies