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Thursday, November 6, 2014

E-Reading Tracking Not as Invasive

After some slightly scary reports that Adobe was monitoring the reading habits of those using its e-reader application, it turns out the reality is not so Big Brother after all.

A TechWorld article reported the Electronic Frontier Foundation investigated Adobe’s actions and found the application only tracked e-book titles with digital rights management (DRM). Even then, Adobe only checked the first time the e-book was opened to make sure the copy was legitimate and not pirated. For books being used under a metered pricing model, Adobe was also measuring the length of time or number of pages consumed.

Readers of Fifty Shades of Grey can rest assured Adobe wasn’t looking to see how long they lingered over the juicy bits. In response to the reports, though, Adobe did make changes in how the application reported information, switching from easily hacked plain text to an encrypted file.

However, an app that follows e-reading patterns would actually yield a lot of useful data for publishers and would probably result in better books. For instance, publishers would be able to determine how many readers finished the book, where they tended to abandon it, whether they flipped back to previous pages, or if they seemed to skim through some parts.

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