Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Privacy Alert for Adobe Digital Editions 4.0

Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) is a free software program used to download and purchase digital content, read content online or offline, organize a custom library, make page annotations in content, and transfer DRM-protected content to other devices.

You are required to create an account with Adobe in order to use ADE. Please note that you do not have to install ADE to use and view UFV ebooks: online viewers in the various ebook platforms will allow you to read ebooks, and print or copy certain percentages of content all without creating an account.

This software is only necessary if you want to download UFV Library ebooks onto personal devices or a home computer. ADE will automatically set "due dates" based on UFV licensing agreements, and your downloaded ebooks will be de-activated after the loan period. These loan periods are not the same as the ones for the UFV Library print collection.

While it is necessary for some data to be communicated from individual ADE installations to Adobe servers in order to authenticate user access and set loan periods for borrowed DRM-protected ebooks, recently it has been discovered that the new ADE 4.0 software scans the hard drives of personal computers and sends an extensive amount of ebook usage data back to Adobe servers. Initially, the data was sent unencrypted, but now the data is encrypted before transmission. This is a serious privacy concern, and the matter has yet to be adequately addressed by Adobe.

For maximum privacy, it is recommended that you only download  Adobe Digital Editions 3.0.

ADE 3.0 does not appear to scan and transmit data other than that necessary to authenticate access to borrowed DRM-protected ebooks. Other ebook reader software is available, but will not necessarily work with the ebooks available through the UFV Library.

For more information on UFV's ebook collections and how to use them, please see our Ebook Collections libguide.

Posted by Martin
October 29, 2014

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