Adobe Bemused By Spying Claims

    December 29, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The discovery that some Adobe products phone home to analytics firm Omniture brought out the tinfoil hat crowd, and a raised eyebrow from Adobe’s John Nack.

Nack, senior product manager for Adobe Photoshop, felt moved enough by the sturm und drang surrounding reports of his company’s products allegedly spying on Adobe customers to respond to the blogosphere drama.

Later, Nack blogged about the situation that Uneasy Silence noticed when Adobe CS3 pinged what looked like a non-routable IP address:

According to Doug Miller from the team, “Omniture is Adobe’s web analytic vendor for There are only 3 places we track things via Omniture anywhere in or around our products.”:

•  The welcome screens (these things) in some Adobe apps include a Flash SWF file that loads current news, special offers, etc. These requests hit servers and are logged, like regular browser-based traffic, by Omniture.

•  Adobe Bridge embeds both the Opera browser and the Flash Player, both of which can be used to load Adobe-hosted content. These requests are also logged.

•  Adobe apps can call various online resources (online help, user forums, etc.), and those requests are logged.

“This, as far as I’ve been able to discover, is the extent of the nefarious ‘spying’,” said Nack.

He also chided Valleywag, CenterNetworks, and Daring Fireball for throwing around “wild assertions” about the traffic to Omniture, especially with Adobe staff mostly off for the brief holiday. However, Nack did have a sense of humor about this, asking why no one had done a crude Photoshop to besmirch the company, too.

We’ll give Nack credit for responding to this on a slow day, but Adobe and Omniture also deserve a ding about the ear for the disguised IP address they use to connect to There’s no way someone at Omniture came up with that clever little subdomain for any reason other that to try and deceive an admin watching network traffic into thinking it was an internal route.