Adobe Users Revolt Over Updated Terms Of Use

Photoshop and Substance 3D users now required to provide Adobe with unlimited access to their content, and even opt-outs can be overridden.

Penny Horwood
clock • 3 min read
Adobe Users Revolt Over Updated Terms Of Use

Adobe is facing a very public backlash after pushing out changes to its terms and conditions.

Users are being forced to provide the company with unlimited access to their projects, including those that might be under the NDA, for "content review" and other purposes.

The terms give Adobe the right to "access your content through both automated and manual methods."

It defines "content" as "any text, information, communication, or material, such as audio files, video files, electronic documents, or images, that you upload, import into, embed for use by, or create using the Services and Software."

The new terms even give Adobe the right to analyze subscribers content using techniques such as machine learning. This has led many to speculate that the company intends to use all user-generated content to train its AI models. It's not an outlandish idea given Adobe's recent focus on products built on GenAI such as Firefly. 

The General Terms of Use were updated in February 2024 but Adobe has pushed out the update over the last few days, locking applications like Photoshop and Substance 3D that its users have already paid for until they consent to the new terms. 

It hasn't gone down well. 

Infuriated users have also noticed that, whilst they can choose to opt out of the content analysis, Adobe's new terms state that it can access content in "certain limited circumstances," regardless of their expressed wishes. 

Adobe now joins Microsoft, Slack and Dropbox in the ranks of SaaS providers facing public discontent for essentially forcing updated terms on their customer base, with GenAI usually constituting a key part of the reason for doing so. 

Microsoft introduced Recall last month, which takes screenshots every few seconds, making any application, website, document, or email you have opened on the computer accessible through the created timeline.

The feature is supposed to benefit users by helping them locate information and data in seconds, but users, privacy advocacy groups and regulators are all proving strangely reluctant to take Microsoft's assurances that privacy is built into Recall at face value. 

Adobe commented as follows:

"This policy has been in place for many years. As part of our commitment to being transparent with our customers, we added clarifying examples earlier this year to our Terms of Use regarding when Adobe may access user content.  Adobe accesses user content for a number of reasons, including the ability to deliver some of our most innovative cloud-based features, such as Photoshop Neural Filters and Remove Background in Adobe Express, as well as to take action against prohibited content. Adobe does not access, view or listen to content that is stored locally on any user's device."

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Computing

 

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