What if I told you that every time you opened an everyday, run-of-the-mill book, an advertiser tracked how much you read, what you were reading and how long it took you to read. Simply reading a book would get a whole lot creepier, right?
Well, Adobe's eBook reader, Digital Editions, has been tracking all of that for everyone who uses or distributes books on the app. According to Ars Technica and Digital Reader, the app tracks the title of the eBook you're reading, how many pages were read and the order in which they were read.
Adobe confirmed these reports, claiming that the tracking was meant "to facilitate the implementation of different licensing models by publishers." Sound like legalese to you? To translate it to English, Adobe is claiming that the information is being tracked to make sure that no one stole an eBook on Digital Editions.
The worst part? All of the information is sent directly to Adobe as a single text file. No encryption, just text. Any hacker could easily get their hands on this information.
Adobe acknowledged the hidden tracking in Digital Editions. The company claims that it's working on a fix. What's the fix for? Well, Adobe definitely isn't going to stop tracking your reading habits, but it plans on securing how it transmits your reading habits.
I understand how important protecting companies against piracy can be, but I have to say that tracking what everyone is reading is a little extreme. Not all is lost, though, because previous versions of Digital Editions reportedly don't track your information.
So if you want to stay safe, you'll probably want to use previous versions of Digital Edition. Or you can opt out entirely and go with a free reading app like Kindle Reader.