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Adobe Acrobat Reader DC’s data collection policy

The usage data collection policy, introduced by Adobe in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC may possibly be the one of the biggest fuckups in entire IT industry, when it comes to the terms of user privacy.

First of all, Adobe does not ask you, whether you'd like to become part of usage data collection program. So, there is no usual "Yes, I agree" checkbox or "No, I'm not interested" button. Adobe thinks, you're a lossless piece of shit and only kindly informs you, that you're part of this program.

But, there's a far more shit behind.


Case starts with following screen, when you run Adobe Acrobat Reader DC for the first time after migration (update) from Adobe Acrobat Reader XI or older version.

As you can see, just a bare information with a link and a "Continue" button. Adobe doesn't give a shit, if you're interested in sharing your so called non-private usage data with them or not.

Let's take a look at sweet additions -- the Adobe Product Improvement Program.

Turning the damn shit off?

There is no easy way of saying "fuck you" to Adobe. As easy as clicking some button or unchecking some checkbox. Solution well known from thousands of programs and services and working nicely for about twenty years or so. Not with Adobe!

Adobe guys thinks, that you're a shit and a mindless moron so makes this process as hard as possible. You must dig through menu and configuration windows (namely Usage Information section, in Reader configuration, accessible via Edit > Preferences menu). But, first you have to dig through their dully website about Adobe Product Improvement Program, because -- as you may imagine -- the "Can I choose not to share my information?" question is not first listed there.

This option (if available -- see below) is turned on by default, so the usual "I don't give a shit" scenario won't work in this case.

The selected one

To make things even more twisted, this option may not be available, if you're not among selected (randomized?) participants. No data is collected in this case, true. But... Adobe can choose at any time that you're selected one and then this option will appear and data collection will be enabled by default.

This means that Adobe crafted a really devilish solution. If you're selected one then you see this option, you can turn it off and probably you're done (probably not; it's Adobe, right). But, if you're not the selected one then you must check from time to time, if this option had become available (because you had become selected one), because only then you're able to deactivate it.

My data is not mine

Want to see what kind of information you're sharing with Adobe? True thing, even Microsoft allows this. But, not Adobe. They think you're too stupid to understand this. In addition, data is encoded. Thus, you must belive they're not sharing your private data, as you have no way to check this.

The conclusion

You may wish to know, why in mid-2017 I am reporting as a fuckup something what was released by Adobe in late of 2015, that is over one and a half year before. True, the Adobe Product Improvement Program website "Last Published: December 24, 2015" tag (we wish you a Merry Christmas, fuckers!).

The reason and answer are simple. Adobe is lame enough that it managed to update my Adobe Acrobat Reader XI to DC version today. Even though, I've been using this computer (and Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on it) since October 2015.

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