Friday, October 24, 2014

Adobe ebook reader spies on you

Adobe has tweaked its Digital Editions 4 desktop ebook reader to now encrypt the data it secretly sends back to headquarters detailing a user's reading habits.

Previously, this information was not encrypted, allowing anyone eavesdropping on a network to intercept it.

The software collects detailed records about the books the user has been reading, such as which pages were read and when, and sends this intelligence back to the server. There is no way to opt out of this short of deleting the application.

Now that information is transmitted using HTTPS, apparently.
There's a whole lot of not getting it wrapped up in that last bit.  Those of you who use Adobe's ebook reader might want to choose an alternative.


Spike said...

Well that's another host to block access to.

Spike said...

Just had another thought: How long until all adobe products do this? I'm sure they just want to make sure that you are not downloading infected pdf files. Couldn't have anything to do with piracy, now could it..

Dave H said...

Spike: It might also be used to collect ratings data, like the Nielsen ratings for TV an radio. Book sales figures don't tell the whole story about how popular a book is. To find that out you need to ask the readers what they're reading.

There's been talk in the publishing industry of renting or leasing ebooks, since the technology exists now to manage time-limited rights. To do that publishers would want to know how many people are reading certain titles and authors so they can establish pricing.

Ken said...

Looks like it's near time to junk Adobe entire and go with Foxit or one of the others.

Ratus said...

Wait, Ken you are not still using adobe to read PDFs are you?

TinCan Assassin said...


Ken said...

Stuck with it at work.

Ratus said...

Then may God have mercy on your soul, Ken.