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Bad Adobe - Sneeking in user data gathering with latest CC update

Jack Henry

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From PetaPixel...

"...In a sneaky move that the company probably hoped nobody would notice, Adobe turned on “Desktop App Usage Information” by default in the most recent update to Creative Cloud. This means that, unless they manually go in and disable the feature, CC users’ app usage data is currently being shared with Adobe..."

See more of the story here and how to disable the function
 

wblink

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Adobe should have told, that's all.

As you can see "not telling" makes it suspicious.
 
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Adobe could use all the feedback that it gets and then some The CC Desktop App itself is particularly flakey and needs revamping especially in the area of sign in and security. I should not need to reboot my machine to get the CC Desktop to refresh properly. I would be happy to provide this kind of feedback to Adobe if they want it. Unless you are worried about paying for bandwidth, you should be happy to provide diagnostic help to Adobe. It does not hurt you or is it nefarious an any way nor is it like NSA snooping. Google tracks all sorts of personal information from you everyday. If you want to get upset about something, get upset about that.
 

Bryan Conner

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Why would a person NOT want to share usage information from Adobe CC with Adobe? What type of usage of CC could a person want to keep secret? What electronic information is truly safe, secure, and/or secret these days? I think this type of thing (data sharing) is a reality of the information age that we are in today.
 
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Why would a person NOT want to share usage information from Adobe CC with Adobe? What type of usage of CC could a person want to keep secret? What electronic information is truly safe, secure, and/or secret these days? I think this type of thing (data sharing) is a reality of the information age that we are in today.

I agree with the caveat that users should always be permitted to opt IN, not OUT. Doing it without notice is not polite.

Say you are out with friends at a party. If one pulls out a cell phone and takes a photo it's kind of expected. If one set up a hidden camera and secretly photographed the party, it might change how you felt.
 

Bryan Conner

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I agree with the caveat that users should always be permitted to opt IN, not OUT. Doing it without notice is not polite.

Say you are out with friends at a party. If one pulls out a cell phone and takes a photo it's kind of expected. If one set up a hidden camera and secretly photographed the party, it might change how you felt.

I did not say that I agreed with Adobe's action. I do not agree with it, it is disrespectful at the least to begin to collect data on a person without notification.

I am curious as to why someone would not want to share photography software usage information to a company that produced the software? The only reason I can think of is that the software was installed illegally.
 

Jack Henry

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The only reason I can think of is that the software was installed illegally.

And THAT is probably the real reason for the surreptitious monitoring. Why would you NOT advise of the monitoriing, unless you didn't really want people to know..
 
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I am curious as to why someone would not want to share photography software usage information to a company that produced the software? The only reason I can think of is that the software was installed illegally.

I have two answers for you, one the real answer, and one if you don't agree with the real answer. :rolleyes:

And apologies the phrasing my be a bit US-centric, but I think it applies anywhere. The real answer is that I disagree with the premise of your question. If one has a right, to ask "why are you exercising your right if you have nothing to hide" is incorrect. Consider if you have the right to avoid self incrimination (in the US called "taking the 5th" referring to the 5th amendment). One could ask "if you have nothing to hide, why NOT testify". Alternatively, if you have a right against unreasonable search, and one (legally) refused authorities permission to search your person, one could ask "why do you mind being searched if you have nothing to hide". The answer is that such rights do not come easily, and if they are ignored and allowed to fall to such arguments, soon they go away. If you value such rights, exercise them regularly!

Similarly if one has a right to privacy, to ask "what are you trying to hide" is the same thing. To exercise the right to privacy should be ones privilege, regardless of the circumstance. Claiming this is indicative of nefarious intent is, well... a bit like the question (hope it translates well) "Have you stopped beating your wife yet".

But to specifically answer your question even if one doesn't feel the need to exercise their right to privacy....

- Who knows what information they actually collect? Might they collect personal information? Might they collect whole images (and those risk them escaping into the wild)? After all, Adobe has already had a massive data breach.

- You might not believe them in the extent of data collected -- look at the huge number of companies caught over-reaching (google's street mapping that collected personal wifi data for example). And those are the ones who got caught. Trusting large companies to tell the truth is rarely a good bet.

- Maybe I have a metered bandwidth connection and do not want to pay extra for them collecting information?

- Maybe I am working on something highly secret (not nefarious) for my company, and have a legal contract not to allow any information to leave my control?

- Maybe I'm concerned that Adobe is going to change pricing models to one that is usage related -- maybe I don't want to contribute to their collection of data that might support research into that?

- Maybe I'm just annoyed at Adobe in general and want to spit in their face this month, and this is a small way to do so?

- Maybe I feel that, like carrying advertising on my car for a dealer should not be done for free, that using my data should require compensation (which they do not offer) so I want to say "no"?

Are these good reasons? You could argue perhaps with any one of them, but they would seem to all be legitimate reasons having nothing to do with license cheats.

Honestly, I believe your question is a bit insulting to those who may choose for whatever reason not to want to share information.

Incidentally, I DO share that information with Adobe. But I am offended by their decision to turn it on, and as I finish this note, I plan to go turn it off just as retaliation. So add that to the list.
 
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Absent a detailed description of what data they are collecting and how it will be analyzed, I suspect that this is somewhat of a double-edged sword. Adobe could certainly use feedback to help improve its products, but gathered data could also be used for marketing/pricing analysis. The ability to aggregate and analyze large amounts of very detailed data is easier than it has ever been, and I am not sure that I really want to assist companies find ways to further charge me for products, or marketing my habits for their profit, any more than I have to. Yes, this applies to almost all of the major software companies, so I am not singling out Adobe. I just wish they were a bit more transparent with their intentions.

--Ken
 
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I have two answers for you, one the real answer, and one if you don't agree with the real answer. :rolleyes:

And apologies the phrasing my be a bit US-centric, but I think it applies anywhere. The real answer is that I disagree with the premise of your question. If one has a right, to ask "why are you exercising your right if you have nothing to hide" is incorrect....
Linwood, Well thought out and well put. I agree with all of your very salient points.

I will point out to you and others that this begins to border on political or even religious conversation. As long as we don't pummel down that slippery slope we are still in 'safe' territory.
 

I Simonius

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manners is what it's all about and they went out with the Thatcher era (in the UK)
 

I Simonius

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Thankfully they still seem to be in vogue here at the forum!

--Ken

yes thank heaven - lets hope Adobe's attitude isn't catching ( I already had a grumble about something similar but I won't reiterate here, I've had my say ;) )
 

Jack Henry

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I remember reading an article (can't remember where) about a web site 'adjusting' the price of products depending on whether you logged on with a PC or Mac. The theory being Mac people would happily pay a bit more for a product.
 
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Nothing wrong with that ! The airlines do it too. If you are happy with the price offered then accept it. If you are not then don't.
 

Jack Henry

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Airline pricing isn't set by what OS your using on the computer you use to book you ticket though.
 

I Simonius

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sneaking data to airline prices....I wonder where this'll end up
;)
 

Bryan Conner

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I have two answers for you, one the real answer, and one if you don't agree with the real answer. :rolleyes:

And apologies the phrasing my be a bit US-centric, but I think it applies anywhere. The real answer is that I disagree with the premise of your question. If one has a right, to ask "why are you exercising your right if you have nothing to hide" is incorrect. Consider if you have the right to avoid self incrimination (in the US called "taking the 5th" referring to the 5th amendment). One could ask "if you have nothing to hide, why NOT testify". Alternatively, if you have a right against unreasonable search, and one (legally) refused authorities permission to search your person, one could ask "why do you mind being searched if you have nothing to hide". The answer is that such rights do not come easily, and if they are ignored and allowed to fall to such arguments, soon they go away. If you value such rights, exercise them regularly!

Similarly if one has a right to privacy, to ask "what are you trying to hide" is the same thing. To exercise the right to privacy should be ones privilege, regardless of the circumstance. Claiming this is indicative of nefarious intent is, well... a bit like the question (hope it translates well) "Have you stopped beating your wife yet".

But to specifically answer your question even if one doesn't feel the need to exercise their right to privacy....

- Who knows what information they actually collect? Might they collect personal information? Might they collect whole images (and those risk them escaping into the wild)? After all, Adobe has already had a massive data breach.

- You might not believe them in the extent of data collected -- look at the huge number of companies caught over-reaching (google's street mapping that collected personal wifi data for example). And those are the ones who got caught. Trusting large companies to tell the truth is rarely a good bet.

- Maybe I have a metered bandwidth connection and do not want to pay extra for them collecting information?

- Maybe I am working on something highly secret (not nefarious) for my company, and have a legal contract not to allow any information to leave my control?

- Maybe I'm concerned that Adobe is going to change pricing models to one that is usage related -- maybe I don't want to contribute to their collection of data that might support research into that?

- Maybe I'm just annoyed at Adobe in general and want to spit in their face this month, and this is a small way to do so?

- Maybe I feel that, like carrying advertising on my car for a dealer should not be done for free, that using my data should require compensation (which they do not offer) so I want to say "no"?

Are these good reasons? You could argue perhaps with any one of them, but they would seem to all be legitimate reasons having nothing to do with license cheats.

Honestly, I believe your question is a bit insulting to those who may choose for whatever reason not to want to share information.

Incidentally, I DO share that information with Adobe. But I am offended by their decision to turn it on, and as I finish this note, I plan to go turn it off just as retaliation. So add that to the list.


First of all, no insult was intended at all in my question. I apologize if it insulted you or anyone else. I said I was curious as to the reasons one would NOT want Adobe monitoring Lightroom use. You gave a few that are acceptable/reasonable to me.

Before moving to Germany in January 2010, I lived in Mississippi where I was just as much of a gun toting, 2nd Amendment loving, keep the government out of my business redneck as the next one. So, I understand your point of view that you expressed in the first portion of your response. And, I support you having your own opinion even if it is different to my own. One more thing, I am not insinuating that you are a redneck.

Your point on the 5th amendment is an interesting one. The definition of incriminate from Merriam-Webster's dictionary is "to charge with or show evidence or proof of involvement in a crime or fault". How can a person incriminate themselves if no crime or fault has been committed?

If the police have a legitimate, valid reason for wanting to search my property, then I would not fight it. I would be angry and would expect an apology. I also would probably pester the snot out of them until they explained to me HOW they came to believe that I was a criminal etc. Searching my home for no legitimate reason is not acceptable.

But, we are talking about a software company collecting information about the usage of the software. It is a huge, related, stretch to compare this issue to illegal search and seizure by the government. You do not own Lightroom. As far as I know, you own the right to use it under certain conditions if you have paid to use it and have agreed to the EULA. (You also do not own your home or land, refuse to pay the taxes and see who really owns it.)

But, once again, I agree that Adobe should have notified users of this in advance and given them the option to turn the sharing of data on or off. As ReplyToken below has stated, the issue is transparency. Apparently (no pun intended), no one wants to be completely transparent.
 
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Your discussion of the 5th amendment and why we disagree likely takes us on an unacceptable tangent, but...

But, we are talking about a software company collecting information about the usage of the software.

One simple question - am I to accept that is a true statement simply because they said so?

Not a week goes by that some major company is not caught lying about its collection of or use of personal data.

Or goodness -- consider Facebook's social experiment. Maybe Adobe will follow in their footsteps and decide to distribute different sorts of bugs to different users, and see how they react based on their usage data, to come up with "acceptable" level of errors. :surprised:
 

Bryan Conner

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Your discussion of the 5th amendment and why we disagree likely takes us on an unacceptable tangent, but...



One simple question - am I to accept that is a true statement simply because they said so?

Not a week goes by that some major company is not caught lying about its collection of or use of personal data.

Or goodness -- consider Facebook's social experiment. Maybe Adobe will follow in their footsteps and decide to distribute different sorts of bugs to different users, and see how they react based on their usage data, to come up with "acceptable" level of errors. :surprised:


Of course you do not have to accept that any software company is only collecting information about the software simply because they say so. You can ask questions if you have reason to believe that the software has access to sensitive information or information that you wish to keep private. You have to be in control of your own information and who you freely give access to. In this day and age, I would place good old Uncle Sam at the top of my list of suspicious characters when it comes to online privacy.

Me personally, I do not worry about it. I really do not believe that there is any info about me that would be of much value to anyone out there in cyberland. I am required to give the US government all financial information even though the only connection I have to America is my passport.

I am afraid that this is the information age and lots of people have more information about you, me, and the next person than we do about ourselves. This is a fact of modern life.

But, once again, I understand your concerns and I respect them. It is ok for me if we agree to disagree. Life is to short to argue about this or to dance with ugly women....lol.
 
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