There may be a new “big brother” in town, and it might just go by the name of Amazon.com. That’s the worry of Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) who today sent a letter to Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos expressing concern over the online retailer’s new Silk browser for the Kindle Fire. In the letter, Markey expresses concerns that Amazon.com could “collect and utilize an extraordinary amount of information about its users’ surfing and buying habits.”
“Consumers may buy the new Kindle Fire to read ‘1984,’ but they may not realize that the tablet’s ‘Big Browser’ may watching their every keystroke when they are online,” Markey said in a press release. “As the use of mobile devices, especially tablets, becomes ubiquitous, we must ensure that user privacy is protected and proper safeguards are in place so that consumers know if and when their personal information is being used and for what purpose. I look forward to hearing more from Amazon in response to these questions.”
Markey isn’t the only politician attacking the new Silk browser. Earlier this week, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) raised privacy concerns over how the browser will collect information from consumers, according to Ars Technica.
Here’s the letter from Markey to Bezos. We’ve asked the company for comment, and will update the post if we hear more. UPDATE: A spokeswoman at Amazon said that users can turn off the split-browsing mode and use Amazon Silk like a conventional Web browser.