(27 October 2014) Today, Carolyn Anthony and Erika Linke, co-chairs of the American Library Association (ALA) Digital Content Working Group (DCWG), released the following statement regarding the Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software update:
“Librarians have long been guardians of and advocates for reader privacy. The plain text transmission of reader data by Adobe Digital Editions over the internet was clearly a privacy violation for all users of the ADE 4.0 version software and demanded swift corrective action.
“Beyond data transmission, ALA continues to be concerned about the amount of data collected and retained by all vendors within the e-book ecosystem. Transparency to users is one important step, but we all must work to help ensure that only data necessary for user functionality are collected, are properly protected, are not sold for profit or used for other secondary purposes, and are deleted as soon as possible.
“Working with ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee and others, the DCWG will continue to investigate these issues, advocate with publishers and distributors, establish best practices to protect reader privacy, and secure the best possible licensing terms for libraries and our readers. We’re pleased that Adobe promised a continuing dialogue with ALA.”
The DCWG is an ALA-wide group of experts, broadly representative of constituencies across the library community, that is charged with proactively addressing digital content opportunities and issues at the highest level and from both a policy and practical perspective.
The full announcement is here.