Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire’s big security problem

“Security concerns are giving some consumers another reason to hold off on the Kindle Fire, one of the holiday’s hottest gadgets,” Mark W. Smith reports for The Detroit Free Press.

“Concerns grew this week over the device’s security,” Smith reports. “In order to use the Fire, users must tie it to an Amazon.com account — with credit card on file — that is set up to purchase items with just one click. This means that anyone given access to the device can buy, with just a tap, e-books, apps, TV shows and music.”

“Even more concerning: If a user has recently logged into the Amazon.com shopping app, the next person who picks up the Fire can use that app to buy anything from the Web giant’s catalog, even if the device has briefly gone dormant between uses,” Smith reports. “Also concerning to some, the Fire’s homescreen includes a carousel of all of a user’s most-recently touched content. When a user opens a book, it will revert to the front of the carousel. When a user then browses to a website, a screen grab of that website heads to the front of the carousel. That carousel is not editable by the user, so there’s no way to hide any of your recent activity from other users.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “GetMeOnTop ” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Lack of parental controls on Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire lets kids charge up a storm – December 12, 2011
Disgruntled early adopters of Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire have slew of complaints – December 12, 2011
Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire estimated to play distant second fiddle to Apple’s market-dominating iPad – December 6, 2011
Usability expert Jakob Nielsen tests Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire: ‘A disappointingly poor user experience’ – December 5, 2011
Instapaper creator reviews Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire: Bad game player, bad app platform, bad web browser, bad video player and bad Kindle – November 18, 2011
PCWorld reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Flawed, unimpressive, subpar; can’t hold a candle to iPad – November 16, 2011
Mossberg reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Frustrating, clunky, much less capable and versatile than iPad – November 16, 2011
Apple iPad 2 vs. Amazon Kindle Fire: Bootup, browsing, and Netflix streaming (with video) – November 16, 2011
Wired reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Web browsing sucks, emotionally draining, makes reading a chore – November 14, 2011
NY Times’ Pogue reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Sluggish, ornery, unpolished – November 14, 2011
The Verge reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Uninspired, confusing, incredibly unoriginal – November 14, 2011
Engadget reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Sluggish, clunky, too limiting and restricted – November 14, 2011

PC Magazine reviews Apple iOS 5: The best phone and tablet OS, Editors’ Choice – October 15, 2011
The Guardian reviews Apple iPad 2: Ahead of the pack – March 25, 2011
The Telegraph reviews Apple iPad 2: Does everything better; now’s the perfect time to join the iPad club – March 25, 2011
Computerworld reviews Apple’s iPad 2: ‘The Holy Grail of computing’ – March 16, 2011
Ars Technica reviews Apple iPad 2: Big performance gains in a slimmer package
Associated Press reviews Apple iPad 2: Apple pulls further ahead – March 10, 2011
PC Mag reviews Apple iPad 2: The tablet to get; Editors’ Choice – March 10, 2011
Associated Press reviews Apple iPad 2: Apple pulls further ahead – March 10, 2011
PC Mag reviews Apple iPad 2: The tablet to get; Editors’ Choice – March 10, 2011
Pogue reviews Apple iPad 2: Thinner, lighter, and faster transforms the experience – March 10, 2011
Baig reviews Apple iPad 2: Second to none – March 10, 2011

19 Comments

    1. Any your iPad can have a security code to lock it, requires your password for purchases and can be restricted to disallow access to various functionality such as purchasing.

    1. Or they spent so much effort “de-Googling” an older version of Android (2.3), and making it Amazon-centric, that they forgot about some commonsense “user-centric” stuff.

    2. You think *developers* made the decision to not include a password and go with a OneClick purchase system? Or that no one raised the issue during QA testing?

      No, this has management and executive orders all over it.

      1. Maybe, maybe not. With some of the outsourced development and testing groups I have worked with, I can easily see this happening. There is not a lot of thinking about security or anything off the strict “happy path” of development and testing. Negative testing just isn’t in the mindset of a lot of outsourced teams in my experience so far. You get what you pay for.

  1. Not being able to turn off 1-click is definitely not good form on Amazon’s part, but a passcode can be set on the Fire just like on the iPad so that if someone sits it down (and presses the button or enough time has elapsed) it is locked. No different from any iOS device.

    Also, the thing about recently using the the Amazon app and a person being able to purchase things is no different than if I just purchased (or updated) an app from the app store and sat it down unlocked. Anyone who picked it up immediately could then purchase apps without needing my password.

    Aside from the 1-click (which *is* an issue) I think the other issues are overblown and not limited to the Kindle Fire.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.