October 23, 2014 Last Updated 12:07 pm

Adobe releases Digital Editions 4 software update to address data privacy concerns

Update brings software up to version 4.0.1 as company reiterates that Adobe did not transmit or store user ID or device ID in clear text

The software company Adobe has released an update to its Digital Editions 4 software (Digital Editions 4.0.1) which addresses the collection and transmission of certain data in clear text. Here new version is available here. Adobe has also added a dedicated page to the Adobe Privacy Policy for the Digital Editions.

Adobe-Digital-Editions-icon“It is important to point out that while it is correct that prior to the update, certain usage data was transmitted in clear text, Adobe did not transmit or store the actual user ID or device ID in clear text,” Adobe said in a communications. “Even prior to the update, both the user ID and device ID were obfuscated by assigning unique values (“GUIDs”), which were collected and stored in place of the user ID and device ID.”

Here is some of what can be found on the new privacy page:

What information does Adobe Digital Editions collect and how is it used?

The following information may be collected when an eBook with DRM is opened in Adobe Digital Editions software. If an eBook does not have any DRM associated with it, then no information is collected.

  • User GUID: The User GUID is a unique value assigned in place of your User ID and is used to authenticate you.
  • Device GUID: The Device GUID is a unique value generated to identify your device. It is used to ensure that the eBook may be viewed on your device and that the number of devices permitted by the license is not exceeded.
  • Certified App ID: This ID represents the application that is being used to view the eBook, in this case Adobe Digital Editions. It is necessary to ensure that only a certified application may display an eBook. This helps to minimize piracy and theft of eBooks.
  • Device IP (Internet Protocol): This identifies the country you are located in when you purchase an eBook. It is used by eBook providers for the enablement of localized pricing models. Only the country identifier of the Device IP is stored.
  • Duration for Which the Book was Read: This information may be collected to facilitate limited or metered pricing models entered into between eBook providers, such as publishers and distributors. These models are based on how long a reader has read an eBook. For example, you may borrow an eBook for a period of 30 days. While some publishers and distributors may charge libraries and resellers for 30 days from the date of the download, others may follow a metered pricing model and charge them for the actual time you read the eBook.
  • Percentage of the eBook Read: The percentage of the eBook read may be collected to allow eBook providers such as publishers to implement subscription pricing models where they charge based on the percentage of the eBook read.
  • Information provided by eBook providers relating to the eBook you have purchased: The following information is provided by the eBook provider to enable the delivery of the eBook to your device:
    • Date of eBook purchase/download
    • Distributor ID and Adobe Content Server Operator URL
    • Metadata of the eBook, such as title, author, language, publisher list price, ISBN number

How is the information transmitted?
The data is sent periodically to Adobe via a secure transmission using HTTPS.

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