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Privacy and security concerns with Adobe Digital Editions Reader

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Have you downloaded Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) version 4 Reader to your computer? If so, please read about the privacy and security concerns around the newly released software.

Adobe Digital Editions is software used by some e-book platforms to manage digital rights when the book is checked out and downloaded to  a personal device such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone. With version 4, Adobe Digital Editions has been logging and sharing non-encrypted data on the books used.

If you have downloaded Adobe Digital Editions to your computer for offline reading on a device, check to see what version you are using. We recommend that you uninstall ADE if it is version 4. Adobe Digital Editions version 3 is still available for download and is not a privacy or security concern. The ADE 3 Reader, for instance, does not communicate with Adobe except to validate the license to unlock the digital rights management (DRM) protected book.

All of our e-books can be read online with no privacy concerns. This privacy risk occurs only when you check out and download an e-book available on one of these platforms: EBL, ebrary and EBSCOhost or borrow a book using the Scholars Portal e-book platform and only with ADE version 4.

You could also choose to use tablet-based reader apps for iOS and Android such as Overdrive or the Bluefire Reader. These apps can unlock e-books protected with the Adobe DRM but do not communicate reading statistics to Adobe.

We are joining with others in the library community across the province to express our concerns regarding this alarming breach of privacy.

For more information contact:

Annie Bélanger
Associate University Librarian, Information Resources & Academic Excellence
519-888-4567, ext. 32882

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