Parents complain Amazon's Kindle Fire gives kids access to porn, accounts

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Amazon delivered its low cost Kindle Fire tablet primarily as a way for users to browse and buy digital content, but it omitted parental controls that can block access to pornography, explicit content or allow unattended kids to "charge up a storm" on their parents' account.



Caryn Talty, a parent blogger at HealthyFamily.org noted that while the Kindle Fire was a "very cool, sleek electronic toy," it "has no parental monitoring safeguards installed on the device or available through a software download."



Talty observed that "anyone handling the device can buy whatever material they wish (electronic downloads and merchandise shipped to your door)," thanks to the way the Fire is linked to the buyer's Amazon account.



While that makes it easy to buy Android apps and stream movies from Amazon's Prime service, it complicates efforts by parents who are considering buying the device as a gift for their children.







"I was able to access 'The Iron Giant' for free on my device," Talty wrote. "It?s a cute PG cartoon movie that is appropriate for my 1st grader to view. But I also noticed that 'Basic Instinct 2' and 'Striptease' with Demi Moore was also available. I certainly don?t want my 8 year old son watching that in the back seat of our car on the way to grandma?s house."



In addition to providing unrestricted, easy access to adult movies, the Kindle Fire also has no parental controls on its Silk web browser, making it easy for children to access hard core adult content, even inadvertently.



In contrast, Apple's iOS and iPod devices were designed from the start with Parental Control settings that enable parents to block iTunes downloads by ratings (including free content such as podcasts), and Apple enables parents to selectively turn off web access via Safari or third party browsers; restrict access to YouTube, Location Services and the ability to install new apps. It's also not possible to place purchases without authorization.







Fire offers an "an unsafe environment for children"



In addition to allowing children to access inappropriate content, Kindle Fire also allows anyone with physical access to the device to place purchases on the owner's account, thanks to Amazon's 1-Click instant ordering service, which is activated by default.



A report by Reuters noted that Amazon's new tablet "has some parents bristling over the simplicity at which children can order from the retail giant and the inability to stop them without crippling the device."



The report stated, "that means anyone who is holding that device can place an order, whether it's their account or not. No prompts come up to confirm the purchase or ask for a password."



Amazon offered a statement saying, "we do provide customers with parental controls for purchasing in-app items," adding, "We're also working on adding additional parental controls." Currently, there are no controls to block purchases of music, books, magazines, movies or apps by ratings or categorically, and no settings that block access to explicit adult content via the included Silk web browser.



The report cited Gary Davis, the director of consumer product marketing at McAfee, as saying "any device that has an unfiltered connection to the Internet is an unsafe environment for children. Parents need to be aware that the Fire is more than a standard e-reader, and take appropriate precautions when allowing children access to the device."



Turn off 1-Click, apps stop working



Buyers can order the device as a gift so it is not linked to their account, and It's also possible to deregister Kindle Fire after ordering it. However, doing so cripples the device. The report described the experience of software engineer Lance Durham, who bought two for his children.



After purchasing some games to preload on the devices, Durham noted he could place orders without confirmation. Amazon's only advice was to deregister the device after each purchase, but Durham said that caused the downloaded apps to stop working. "He returned the tablets," Reuters stated.



Other reports have noted that turning off 1-Click on the Kindle Fire doesn't necessarily stop unauthorized purchases. Even after turning it off, multiple users have stated that the Kindle Fire continues to allow them to buy or rent Amazon content without asking for an account password.
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Comments

  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,899member
    Quote:

    …allow unattended kids to "charge up a storm" on their parents' account.



    Being fair, how many complaints about Smurfberries have we seen here?



    It's completely inexcusable on any platform that something like that would be allowed, and, on a personal note, I've always hated the idea of 'in-app purchases'. Sell it to me up front and give me the full version.



    I'm not against DLC, though, unless it's a situation in which those that DON'T pay are at a competitive disadvantage (like the new way Team Fortress 2 operates, for example. At least, I think. I haven't played that for years, and back then it was like a real game should operate).



    Quote:

    Even after turning it off, multiple users have stated that the Kindle Fire continues to allow them to buy or rent Amazon content without asking for an account password.



    That's particularly funny.



    As to the porn, I'll avoid the "A platform that allows access to Flash-based websites which are generally filled with people flashing" pun, I think.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,828member
    Those parents are ignorant. I knew about this weeks ago, and I'm not a parent. Either way, I don't care about those people's kids. So let them watch porn.



    The iPad is the best and most secure babysitter for a kid. People who cheap out can't really complain. You get what you pay for.
  • island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Hmmmmm, I'll have to go to rent-a-family, rent some kids for a couple of months... then when the porn charges show up on the credit card... "Oh honey, it's those darn kids!".
  • chuckmoserchuckmoser Posts: 21member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    The iPad is the best and most secure babysitter for a kid. People who cheap out can't really complain.:



    So much easier than actually parenting, huh?
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,828member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chuckmoser View Post


    So much easier than actually parenting, huh?



    I don't have any kids, so it is not something that concerns me at the moment.



    When and if I do have any kids, they can be assured of one thing, they will only have access to Apple gear, as there is plenty of that in my house.



    Being the great and loving parent that I'm sure that I would be, my kids will never have to suffer, growing up using second rate junk, like an Android tablet.
  • skolvikingsskolvikings Posts: 11member
    Is this an Apple site or a Kindle Fire site? Oh yeah, the Kindle Fire is potentially a threat to a beloved Apple product. Therefore anything potentially negative about it must be reported immediately.



    *sigh*



    Like I've commented previously, I have numerous iOS devices and love them, and loved this blog to find out about new Apple stuff. But alas, it's time to dump you from my RSS feed reader. I'm not an Apple zealot, and can't deal with anymore of the "bash everyone else" stories.



    Look, if I care about the Kindle Fire (or any other product for that matter), I'll go read the pros and cons on sites that cover that stuff. I expected *APPLE*Insider to be about, oh... I dunno... APPLE STUFF.



    *sigh*



    Guess that's not the case. You'll probably tell yourself "good riddance" or "who cares" or whatever, but I will say that perhaps you'd have more readers if you focused on your niche, and stopped with all the bashing of others stuff. I mean, an occasional post about the competition is probably to be expected, but lately it's one negative Kindle Fire story after another. Enough already!



    It's been nice. \
  • msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    PornoPad(tm)
  • zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    How is The Iron Giant "cute"?
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    It's completely inexcusable on any platform that something like that would be allowed, and, on a personal note, I've always hated the idea of 'in-app purchases'. Sell it to me up front and give me the full version.



    I can think of countless uses for legitimate in-app purchases. Purchases in which I'm glad didn't require me to buy separate apps that have to constantly be switched in order to utilize. The problem is when its abused, but Apple has taken care of that sufficiently on their end by protecting accounts, though I think they should have anticipated this abuse from the get go.
  • moxommoxom Posts: 325member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zandros View Post


    How is The Iron Giant "cute"?



    I'm certain Caryn Talty wasn't searching for a "cute PG cartoon" when she was typing in 'The Iron Giant'...
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,828member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skolvikings View Post


    Is this an Apple site or a Kindle Fire site?



    You should know that every single tablet that gets released is directly related to the iPad, so it makes perfect sense to be talking about other tablets every once in a while.



    When you go to Amazon and read about the Kindle, you'll notice that the word "iPad" is mentioned a few times.
  • bagmanbagman Posts: 349member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    When and if I do have any kids, they can be assured of one thing, they will only have access to Apple gear, as there is plenty of that in my house.



    Being the great and loving parent that I'm sure that I would be, my kids will never have to suffer, growing up using second rate junk, like an Android tablet.



    So - you won't subject them to the "porn" called Windows? Hope they don't have to work around any of this "junk" - maybe by the time they get jobs, Microsoft stuff will just be a distant memory.



    I can just hear you waxing all techie nostalgic in a bedtime story to the kiddies: "When I was your age, I had to reboot my windows PC at least 3 times everyday, and had to suffer the blue screen of death on numerous occasions. And, I actually had to use a device to interact with it - called a mouse, and it all had to be connected by "wires". " (as the kids are rolling their eyes).
  • alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    Seriously, this is a huge flaw in the Amazon Fire. if your Fire is lost or stolen ... and that happens a significant number of times. hope you can dispute the credit card charge. and you'd be crazy to hand it blindly to your teenager. when these things go sideways with teens, it's not funny at all.



    this is incompetence of the highest order. why isn't Consumer Repots screaming bloody murder? where is the demand for a recall?
  • lightstrikerlightstriker Posts: 458member
    So Amazon is enabling kids to play with Fire. Have a cigarette.
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,828member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bagman View Post


    So - you won't subject them to the "porn" called Windows? Hope they don't have to work around any of this "junk" - maybe by the time they get jobs, Microsoft stuff will just be a distant memory.



    "When I was your age, I had to reboot my windows PC 3 times everyday, and had to suffer the blue screen of death on numerous occasions. And, I actually had to use a device to interact with it - called a mouse (as the kids are rolling their eyes).



    There are certain jobs where people don't ever have to touch Windows. I've never owned a Windows machine in my entire life.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,899member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post


    why isn't Consumer Repots screaming bloody murder? where is the demand for a recall?



    Too busy putting disclaimers in about the iPhone 4S.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Consumer Reports


    And unlike the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S doesn't have an antenna problem.



  • tbstephtbsteph Posts: 62member
    While I can understand the pluses of having parental controls, ultimately parents need to be responsible for their childrens' activities. If the Fire doesn't work for you, don't buy one. If Amazon loses enough sales over this issue, they will fix the problem. That's how capitalism works.
  • tommcintommcin Posts: 108member
    But the Fire is so cheap.
  • island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    There are certain jobs where people don't ever have to touch Windows. I've never owned a Windows machine in my entire life.



    Amen to that...
  • absolutedesignzabsolutedesignz Posts: 1,930member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skolvikings View Post


    Is this an Apple site or a Kindle Fire site? Oh yeah, the Kindle Fire is potentially a threat to a beloved Apple product. Therefore anything potentially negative about it must be reported immediately.



    *sigh*



    Like I've commented previously, I have numerous iOS devices and love them, and loved this blog to find out about new Apple stuff. But alas, it's time to dump you from my RSS feed reader. I'm not an Apple zealot, and can't deal with anymore of the "bash everyone else" stories.



    Look, if I care about the Kindle Fire (or any other product for that matter), I'll go read the pros and cons on sites that cover that stuff. I expected *APPLE*Insider to be about, oh... I dunno... APPLE STUFF.



    *sigh*



    Guess that's not the case. You'll probably tell yourself "good riddance" or "who cares" or whatever, but I will say that perhaps you'd have more readers if you focused on your niche, and stopped with all the bashing of others stuff. I mean, an occasional post about the competition is probably to be expected, but lately it's one negative Kindle Fire story after another. Enough already!



    It's been nice. \



    The reason you're leaving is the reason so many of us who happen to be fans of other OSes are here. Ironic.



    There's a HUGE noticeable difference between liking Apple products and even the way the company is run (like my cousin, a business man, Apple product owner, Steve Jobs fan) and the kind of cult-like behavior seen online.
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