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Adobe Digital Editions and Privacy Concerns

It’s recently come to our attention that Adobe Digital Editions 4, the software used to download many of the Library’s ebooks, has been reported to be logging data on the books used with this application.  Reports indicate that this information is being uploaded in plain text to Adobe servers, and is being sent without any encryption, meaning that book logging data is potentially open to interception. Note that this privacy breach seems to be limited to Digital Editions 4, the most recent version of the software. As far as can be detected, Digital Editions 2 and 3 are unaffected.

The University of Guelph Library provides access to thousands of ebooks. Most of these titles can be read online without using Adobe Digital Restrictions. However, due to DRM (digital rights management) restrictions, if a user chooses to download certain books to a device for offline reading, then they must use Adobe Digital Editions. This is a condition of purchase that has been unavoidable for all libraries providing ebook content. If you are asked to download Adobe Digital Editions 4, we urge you to read the end user license agreement prior to installation.  

If you are concerned about this possible violation of privacy, we recommend that you uninstall Adobe Digital Editions v. 4 and view the book online instead of downloading it. For the few titles where this is not possible, check for a print copy in Primo.  We will continue to investigate this situation and keep you updated on developments.