Thursday, October 9, 2014

Adobe eBook reader has been secretly spying on what you read

Would you be able to visit in a library and read a book while someone else lurked over your shoulder and wrote down which books you were reading and for how long? Most wouldn't, but that's precisely what Adobe is doing to everyone using their Adobe Digital Editions eBook and PDF reader software.

Adobe Digital Editions is used by thousands of libraries, being one of the DRM-laden program that ensures you can only read "approved" ebooks and manage the lending of digital books - restricting most advantages one would expect from a digital book to their physical counterparts. And now it was found that it is not only tracking your reading habits, but is sending them back to Adobe in plain text . making it easily interceptable by anyone. (Just the other day we talked about a similar issue on a keylogging program promoted by the police that actually put its users at risk.)

Adobe says it needs this data to ensure the proper management of the ebooks - allowing publishers to do things like charge per time spent reading or by how much you actually read (what's next, charge by the page or by the sentence?) but I think it serves to illustrate, once again, that no DRM can/should be accepted by consumers.

In this case, what Adobe is doing might actually end up being illegal, as New Jersey has recently passed a law that ensures everyone's right to their privacy and anonymity concerning which books they read or check out of a library. But even if it weren't, it's time authors and publishers realize that they need to treat their customers with respect and as reasonable people that aren't the "criminals" some associations insist on. That means: no DRM, and trust people to do the right thing - after all, most of the time the use of DRM ends up forcing reasonable people not to do the right thing, which is kind of ironic (or should I say... moronic?)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Amazon Store