Adobe Creatively Spying From the Cloud

“Really, Doctor. Must we always play this game? I’m no more a spy than you are …”
” … a doctor.”
Garak and Dr. Bashir in Star Trek DS9: “Cardassians”

I finally decided to purchase Adobe Creative Cloud for a year. With lots of reservations, given that I am willing to pay for the software I use, but I deeply mistrust cloud solutions. Plus I rather pay more to actually own the software. But with Adobe Creative Suite being discontinued … no luck. It has to be a licensed cloud installation.

To make matters worse, Adobe spies on its users per default.

Maybe I missed it, but I did not (consciously) see any question on whether I permit Adobe to collect usage data. Even Apple has at least the common decency to ask to send usage data. Most apps have it disabled by default and operate under an opt in policy.

Not so Adobe Creative Cloud. After installing the apps I needed (Acrobat, InDesign, Lightroom, Photoshop) my firewall (hello “Little Snitch”) noticed attempts to connect to Adobe whenever I started or quit an app. Some googling revealed that Adobe has:

Yes, I would like to share information on how I use Adobe desktop apps.


Yes, allow my content to be analyzed by Adobe using machine learning techniques.

enabled by default. See on this image here:

Fucking hell, these two settings should be disabled by default.

Seriously, WTF?!?

You can disable these settings in your account, under “Security & Privacy”.

And yeah, I totally love InDesign and am happy as a … “very happy person” to have access to it again. But this is a dick move by Adobe. From now on my policy is to permanently disable all contact between Adobe products and web-services. I’ll open the firewall when I think I should do an update.

Hopefully the software will still run under these circumstances.


  1. I’d be more impressed in Adobe’s spying had some beneficial results for users. Does the use that you and I make of InDesign mean Adobe is investing in improving the app? Judging by the utter poverty of new features in IN-2107, after some year and half of waiting, I’d say not.

    From Adobe’s behavior, I’d say the company doesn’t even know we exist, so any spying they might do is irrelevant.

  2. Hmm, ostensibly the usage data is used to improve the product, but I’m very skeptical about these claims. As for new features, I haven’t used InDesign for about two years and I haven’t noticed any changes from an old CS whatever version (bought around 2010) to the CC version. One the one hand, that’s a good thing, on the other … yeah, perhaps Adobe is forgetting about its customers.

  3. A few years ago I replaced Apple & Adobe with Windows & Corel. Last year I switched to Fedora Linux with the Fedora Design Suite and never looked back. I can do all my graphics and DTP with Open Source and not being spied on, or starved to death with fleecing software subscriptions.

    A lot of creatives are also choosing Linux Mint for their distribution too. I like both 8) The two Linux Desktop Environments I like best are GNOME 3 (Mac Like, also good for touch screens, but heaver) and Xfce (Windows and Mac), the latter is fast and light, great for laptops. Xfce will scream on a fast desktop, great for reserving resources for graphics apps. It’s time for creatives to be free at last 8)

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