Adobe Digital Editions 4 privacy concerns

ADE Reader is the most commonly used desktop application for accessing ebooks that contain Adobe’s DRM (digital rights management) software.  Many booksellers and online library lending services such as Overdrive, ebrary, and Scholars Portal use the Adobe DRM. You may, therefore, have chosen to install  Adobe Digital Editions on your laptop or desktop, as an ebook reader.

The current version of Adobe Digital Editions, ADE 4 has been found to have serious privacy and security flaws.  

Privacy and security issues

The ADE 4 Reader passes usage information about titles protected with Adobe’s DRM software to Adobe. This information is transmitted from the ADE 4 Reader to Adobe in an unencrypted format. 

eBooks that use Adobe DRM at UTL

The vast majority of our titles do not need ebook reader apps such as Adobe Digital Editions 4.

Scholars Portal eBooks indicate whether or not you will need ADE:

  • “Borrow this E-Book” indicates you need ADE or similar software
  • “Read this book” indicates you do not need any special software

Alternative ebook readers

If you have installed ADE 4, and have concerns, please revert to older versions of the software, such as ADE 3. Older versions do not transfer personal information to Adobe.

ADE 3 Reader is available for download at this address: http://www.adobe.com/support/digitaleditions/downloads.html

Tablet-based reader apps for iOS and Android, such as Overdrive or the Bluefire Reader, are also available. These apps can unlock ebooks protected with the Adobe DRM without communicating personal information to Adobe.

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