It has recently come to our attention that Adobe Digital Editions, the software we use to allow access our ebooks, has been transmitting unencrypted reader data. The information Adobe is collecting includes the title, publisher, and other metadata for the book you have downloaded, and the information is being sent to Adobe’s server in plain text. We stand with our colleagues at other libraries in opposition of these practices, arguing that this is not only a violation of privacy but also a security concern since it allows for the potential interception of the data. The vulnerability is limited to the newly released Digital Editions 4, which is a requirement for downloading ebooks.
If you are concerned about your right to privacy, we recommend that you uninstall Adobe Digital Editions 4 from all of your devices and contact either your subject specialist liaison or our electronic resource services unit for possible print options. You can also download an earlier edition of Adobe Digital Editions.
The UConn Libraries values your right to privacy and have expressed our concerns to our ebook vendors, asking them to advocate on our behalf. We are also members of the American Library Association, which is working with Adobe to correct this issue.
Adobe is Spying on Users, Collecting Data on Their eBook Libraries
“Adobe is gathering data on the ebooks that have been opened, which pages were read, and in what order. All of this data, including the title, publisher, and other metadata for the book is being sent to Adobe’s server in clear text.”
Adobe’s e-book reader sends your reading logs back to Adobe—in plain text
“Adobe’s Digital Editions e-book and PDF reader—an application used by thousands of libraries to give patrons access to electronic lending libraries—actively logs and reports every document readers add to their local “library” along with what users do with those files. Even worse, the logs are transmitted over the Internet in the clear, allowing anyone who can monitor network traffic (such as the National Security Agency, Internet service providers and cable companies, or others sharing a public Wi-Fi network) to follow along over readers’ shoulders.”
Adobe Responds to Reports of Their Spying, Offers Half Truths and Misleading Statements
“Adobe hasn’t addressed all of the evidence against them, but they did admit that they were gathering info from users. They won’t admit to scraping my library, but they did admit to tracking a user’s activities.”