Earlier this week, both Democrat and Republican members of Congress expressed concern over privacy of users that browse the Web through the Amazon Silk browser on the currently unreleased Kindle Fire. Since the Kindle Fire uses less expensive hardware than a typical tablet, the split version of Silk sends all Web activity through the cloud-based Amazon Web Services and speeds up the process considerably. Page rendering and general processing of a Web page occurs in the cloud, thus the Kindle Fire doesn’t need to process the data. Officials in Congress are concerned about what data Amazon will retain about a user’s activities as well as how that data will be used in the future.
Users do have the ability to turn off the split version of the Silk browser and run the program as a traditional browser. However, running Silk as a traditional browser will significantly slow down the speed of leading Web pages. Since the split version of the browser is turned on by default when a consumer purchases the Kindle Fire, it’s highly unlikely that new users will opt for the slower version of the Silk browser.