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[BleepingComputer] Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Update Installs (telemetry gathering) Chrome Browser Extension

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Source [Note, parenthetical addition to the title is mine. Rest of article title is as printed at source]



Quote:
Adobe released yesterday Acrobat Reader DC 15.023.20053 that included fixes for 29 security issues. Along with the security fixes, this update package also silently installs the Adobe Acrobat extension into the user's Chrome web browser.

The installation process is covert, but the next time users open their Chrome browser, they'll be notified by Chrome's security systems that a new extension has been added.
Quote:
According to Adobe, extension users "share information with Adobe about how [they] use the application."

"The information is anonymous and will help us improve product quality and features," Adobe also says.

Digging deeper into this data collection mechanism, we see that Adobe collects the following user information:

*Browser type and version
*Adobe product information such as version
*Adobe feature usage such as menu options or buttons selected

My take: this extension is entirely useless and privacy compromising. Chrome can natively and efficiently open PDFs with no issue whatsoever. The functionality provided by this extension is only that it gives an "Open in Adobe Reader" button on your browser.

If you're a savvy user, just remove the extension.

If you're a system administrator with Adobe Reader deployed to a large number of computers, you may find the top post here interesting.
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post #2 of 22
I got that popup, didn't even read it, pressed "uninstall" right away.

I can open PDF's just fine as it is, thanks Adobe.

From my understanding, this is just a chrome extension that looks at the usage of the desktop version of Reader?
 
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post #3 of 22
Being a developer who sometimes needs to serve up PDFs, I can tell you that the chrome plugin is in fact inferior to adobe's plugin. As much as I hate to have to admit it, the full support capabilities of chrome vs adobe does still skew in adobe's direction.

Nothing in that list of telemetry data in any way is directly personally identifiable, though it could easily be used to create a psuedo-print in the aggregate. It is far more likely this is adobe trying to gain information which would help them diagnose rendering issues or paths when they prove problematic.
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post #4 of 22
Just like Adobe's Flash biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 22
I have adobe acrobat DC PRO, does this affect me in any way?
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post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avonosac View Post

Being a developer who sometimes needs to serve up PDFs, I can tell you that the chrome plugin is in fact inferior to adobe's plugin. As much as I hate to have to admit it, the full support capabilities of chrome vs adobe does still skew in adobe's direction.

Nothing in that list of telemetry data in any way is directly personally identifiable, though it could easily be used to create a psuedo-print in the aggregate. It is far more likely this is adobe trying to gain information which would help them diagnose rendering issues or paths when they prove problematic.

This is unfortunately quite true. I deal with a lot of architectural plans, CAD drawings and such, and those are usually converted to PDF's. Getting a scale PDF is all but impossible on chrome.

edit: I still see no reason for an extension on chrome. Just DL the PDF and open it with Adobe.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNMock View Post

This is unfortunately quite true. I deal with a lot of architectural plans, CAD drawings and such, and those are usually converted to PDF's. Getting a scale PDF is all but impossible on chrome.

edit: I still see no reason for an extension on chrome. Just DL the PDF and open it with Adobe.

Same here, working in commercial printing. We PDF with customers daily. Every time a customer tells us something dropped out of the PDF, we ask if they are opening it in Adobe or within their browser. 100% of the time the browser plugin is the issue.
post #8 of 22

Unsurprising, Adobe bundled Chrome for the longest time with their products.

   
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post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryosis00 View Post

Same here, working in commercial printing. We PDF with customers daily. Every time a customer tells us something dropped out of the PDF, we ask if they are opening it in Adobe or within their browser. 100% of the time the browser plugin is the issue.

Yeah, people are stupid. I've given up on putting multiple drawing on separate PDF's in a zip file. Amazing how many people don't know how to unzip.
post #10 of 22
I hate the direction Adobe is taking. Even with CS6 it's a struggle to avoid ending up with CC malware. I still use Acrobat X Pro and Chrome's native PDF reading capabilities.
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