Dealing With a Stolen Kindle

Ars Technica has an article about how Amazon deals with stolen Kindles.  Apparently, if you contact Amazon about a Kindle that has been stolen, they will de-register your account from the device.  What they can’t do, however, is locate it or send a signal to kill or wipe the device.

It’s not entirely clear why Amazon can’t do this.  After all, the Kindle is connected to a cellular network and Amazon is able to take control, at least somewhat, of the device if they want to.  Amazon did say that Sprint may have some options available, and that they will “respond to appropriate requests for information from law enforcement officials.”

The article argues that it wouldn’t be very difficult for Amazon to add some sort of options for those who have had their Kindles stolen.  Many other devices can be remotely wiped clean if the owner wishes, why couldn’t Amazon do the same?  As eReaders become more widespread, more Kindles will have sensitive documents stored on them.  If the Kindle was open for installing third party software, someone could easily provide this functionality.  Now, it seems to be up to hackers to add this functionality.