Adobe: Passing eBook data is intended to verify licenses

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Adobe states that collecting user data in its e-reader application Digital Editions 4 is intended to prevent piracy by checking whether the necessary licenses are in place. Despite this, the software company says it will update its Digital Editions software.

Earlier this week, Adobe was discredited when it turned out that Digital Editions 4 collects privacy-sensitive data. For example, the e-reader application transmits information about e-books that users are reading, while also scanning DRM-free epub files on the hard drive. In addition, the collected data is transmitted unencrypted. Civil rights movement EFF, among others, reacted indignantly to the privacy violations by Adobe’s software and classified Digital Editions as spyware.

Speaking to Ars Technica, who confirmed The Digital Reader’s earlier findings, an Adobe spokesperson said the company is collecting data to verify that the affected e-books a customer opens have the necessary licenses. This should prevent piracy, partly because the Digital Editions software is widely used by libraries for ‘lending’ e-books.

Adobe further claims that the collection of user data is neatly included in the license terms, and that only anonymized user data is stored. Despite this, the software company has indicated that it is working on an update that will ensure that the collected data is forwarded encrypted. It is not yet clear when this update will appear.

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