So if you're like most creatives these days you're subscribing to some level of Adobe CC products. It's pretty much the only way we can keep up to date on their products and to be honest it feels like I'm getting a better deal because it's coming out in small, manageable chunks instead of a huge software purchase. I know, they've got me brainwashed. But I didn't start this post to debate the merits of monthly payments vs upfront for software. What I came to talk about is the privacy section of your Adobe account.
Let's start by saying I'm no legal expert. Didn't play one on TV and can't pretend I'd know anything about the subject. But I do know that when I logged into my Adobe account the other day to update my payment information, and to be honest probably the first time I logged in since signing up, I decided to poke around the site and see what else was there. I found a tab called "security & privacy". Seems like a good thing to check, right?
Under this tab you'll see a few things but let's focus on the left side. Below the Password section there's a section called Privacy. And within there it has "desktop app usage access" and "machine learning", both of them enabled by default. Hmmm...this seems interesting. I don't remember agreeing to these things but let's see what they actually entail.
First up is desktop app usage. By enabling this one, remember it's on by default, you essentially agree to share how you use the Adobe apps with them. The information stays associated with your account and allows them to "provide a better user experience". I'm pretty sure my experience will be fine without you peeking over my shoulder as I fumble around Photoshop. Uncheck!
Next up is Machine learning. This one sounds more ominous but maybe only because I've watched the Terminator movies recently. On this one, again it's enabled by default, you're allowing Adobe to use a computer to scan all the files you work with in the apps and analyze them for content and pattern recognition to "improve their products and services". Ummm....hell no! Uncheck!
So I guess I'm glad I went poking around the Adobe site today. If you're paranoid about privacy maybe you already knew this or will make changes now. On the other hand there are probably plenty of you unfazed and not concerned at all about these settings in which case carry on, nothing to see here.