Adobe and Microsoft backtrack on anti-privacy measures

Microsoft and Adobe back down

Groucho Marx once said "These are my principles, but if you don't like them I have these others." Now that Adobe and Microsoft are reversing policies that violated user privacy, we can say that both companies are Marxist.

Of course, they didn't do it out of conviction. It was the strong opposition of users and, above all, the existence of alternatives that motivated the change.

Adobe and Microsoft back down

Since we already talk a lot about Microsoft in this blog, we are going to start with the people at Adobe.

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Yours is mine and mine is mine

Last week, users of Adobe's office suite They found that if they wanted to use the applications or uninstall them they had to accept new conditions of use. Between them:

For the sole purpose of operating or improving the Services and Software, you grant a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable license to use, reproduce, publicly display, distribute, modify, create derivative works, publicly perform and translate the content . For example, we may sublicense our rights in the content to service providers or other users to facilitate the operation of the Services and Software with third parties, such as sharing photographs.

Faced with widespread protest from many users, the next day the company "clarified" the terms:

This policy has been in place for many years. In line with our commitment to transparency to our customers, earlier this year we added illustrative examples to our Terms of Use that explain when Adobe can access user content. Adobe accesses content for a variety of reasons, including the ability to deliver some of our most innovative features in the cloud, such as Photoshop Neural Filters and the Background Removal feature in Adobe Express, as well as taking action against prohibited content. Adobe does not access, view, or listen to content stored locally on users' devices.

They later clarified that they only reserve access to cloud content to combat child pornography and other unauthorized content. and that this content will be reviewed by humans. Adobe will not access locally stored content.

Giving title to the chicken coop to the fox

This story began on May 20 when Microsoft introduced its Copilot+ line of laptops. They have special hardware that allows Artificial Intelligence tools to be run locally. One of those tools is Recall, a service that takes periodic screenshots so that the user can return to a specific moment. of the day. using Artificial Intelligence and continue from there.

This raised many doubts about what Microsoft would do with those screenshots, so the company had to come out and announce changes. These are:

  • To use the tool a biometric login will be required. Data is stored locally and encrypted.
  • The user has to activate the tool to use it.
  • On corporate computers, administrators can disable the tool but they will not activate or see the screenshots. Neither do other users who use the same equipment.
  • Users decide What is saved and when it is saved.
  • Screenshots are stored locally encrypted and are only decrypted, once the user's identity has been verified, when the user needs it.
  • Security measures are added through hardware.

An important point that Microsoft makes clear is that screenshots of copyrighted content will not be taken.

The truth is that as users we have to be more attentive than ever. Artificial Intelligence is the Trojan horse with which they will try to get into our privacy and sell us hardware that we would not otherwise buy. And this is coming from someone who was an early Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber and is writing this using Microsoft Bing.

And, more than ever, we must support free software tools and open source that allow us to free ourselves from these proprietary tools.


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