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Amazon KindleAmazon’s Kindle e-reader team found themselves up the wrong creek without a paddle or a boat this week, after the online retailer deleted books from Kindles remotely, and sparked a furore about privacy. Now though Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, has issued a groveling apology, admitting the digital bookseller’s actions were “stupid”.

The Kindle scandal began a week ago, when Amazon realised that it didn’t have the licence to sell several novels on the Kindle store. But instead of just taking them down for sale, Amazon took advantage of the Kindle range’s 3G connectivity to delete all copies of it Kindle users had already paid for.

Kindle DX: all the official photos

As many bloggers complained, this was hardly different from Amazon strolling into your home and setting fire to your bookshelf. In a chilling Orwellian irony, the books in question were the likes of Animal Farm and 1984, savage attacks on authoritarian control.

Now though, Bezos has apologised unreservedly for the snafu: “Our ‘solution’ to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.”

We’re used to seeing company CEOs refusing to backdown on company slip ups (Right, RIM?), so it’s refreshing to see one head honcho holding his hands up and admitting he was wrong for once. Still, even as a UK Kindle draws near, it’s good to know that there are other e-readers out there with zero chance of remote library deletion.

Out TBC | £TBC | Amazon

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