Home Adobe updates terms and clarifies content access amid user concerns

Adobe updates terms and clarifies content access amid user concerns

Adobe has clarified its terms and conditions after users expressed outrage when they were denied access to its products without agreeing to an updated Terms and Conditions document.

The controversy stemmed from a provision in the document stating that Adobe could access users’ content using both “automated and manual methods.”

The updated terms read:

“We’ve made some changes to the Adobe General Terms of Use regarding the use of Software and Services, including:
• Clarified that we may access your content through both automated and manual methods, such as for content review (Sections 2.2 and 4.1)”

Users criticized this decision and declined to accept the change, with some noting that they are involved in projects governed by non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), which prohibit sharing information with unauthorized parties.

However, in a blog post, Adobe called the changes “a routine re-acceptance” of those terms to Adobe Creative Cloud and Document Cloud customers. It stated: “We have received a number of questions resulting from this update and want to provide some clarity.

“We remain committed to transparency, protecting the rights of creators, and enabling our customers to do their best work.”

What is different in Adobe’s terms and conditions

Adobe announced, “The focus of this update was to be clearer about the improvements to our moderation processes that we have in place. Given the explosion of Generative AI and our commitment to responsible innovation, we have added more human moderation to our content submissions review processes.”

Adobe terms and conditions: 2. Privacy.2.1 Privacy. For information about how we collect, use, share, or otherwise process information about you and your use of our Services and Software, please see our Privacy Policy: http://www.adobe.com/go/privacy. You have the option to manage i information preferences here: https://www.adobe.com/privacy/opt-out.html. 2.2 Our Access to Your Content. We may will only access, view, or listen to your Content (defined in section 4.1 (Content) below) through both automated and manual methods, but only in limited ways, and only as permitted by law. For example, in order to provide the Services and Software, we may need to access, view, or listen to your Content to (A) respond to Feedback or support requests; (B) detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, legal, or technical issues; and (C) enforce the Terms, as further set forth in Section 4.1 below. Our automated systems may analyze your Content and Creative Cloud Customer Fonts (defined in section 3.10 (Creative Cloud Customer Fonts) below) using techniques such as machine learning in order to improve our Services and Software and the user experience. Information on how Adobe uses machine learning can be found here: http://www.adobe.com/go/machine learning. 2.3 Data Protection Agreements. In some countries, the law requires that we put a data protection agreement in place with you if we handle Personal Data (as defined in the applicable agreement) for you as part of our Services and Software. These agreements are the EU Data Processing Agreement or Data Protection Terms, found in the following locations.
Adobe highlights where it has made changes. Credit: Adobe

Originally, the terms regarding access to user content stated, “We will only access, view, or listen to your Content…through both automated and manual methods, but only in limited ways, and only as permitted by law.” This statement was later modified to “may” access content, which raised concerns among users.

In addition, Adobe added, “To be clear, Adobe requires a limited license to access content solely for the purpose of operating or improving the services and software and to enforce our terms and comply with law, such as to protect against abusive content.”

When Adobe applications and services may access content

Adobe said that its apps and services require access to user content to fulfill their intended functions, such as opening and editing files, creating thumbnails, and generating previews for sharing.

This access also allows advanced cloud-based features like Photoshop Neural Filters, Liquid Mode, and the Remove Background tool. Users interested in learning more about how their content is managed and how they can control its use can find detailed information on Adobe’s dedicated help page.

When content is processed or stored on Adobe’s servers, the company says that it uses various technologies and processes. These include escalation to manual (human) review to screen for illegal or abusive content, such as activities that show spam or phishing.

It reiterated that it does not train its Firefly Gen AI models on customer content. Firefly generative AI models are reportedly trained on a dataset of licensed content, such as Adobe Stock, and public domain content where copyright has expired. Adobe then stressed that it will “never assume ownership of a customer’s work.”

Featured image: Ideogram

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Suswati Basu
Tech journalist

Suswati Basu is a multilingual, award-winning editor and the founder of the intersectional literature channel, How To Be Books. She was shortlisted for the Guardian Mary Stott Prize and longlisted for the Guardian International Development Journalism Award. With 18 years of experience in the media industry, Suswati has held significant roles such as head of audience and deputy editor for NationalWorld news, digital editor for Channel 4 News and ITV News. She has also contributed to the Guardian and received training at the BBC As an audience, trends, and SEO specialist, she has participated in panel events alongside Google. Her…

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