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Screengrabs via @ArcZephyer on TikTok

‘Adobe just hates having clients huh?’: Adobe rolls out new terms of use allowing it to steal your private files to train AI

'It's like I buy a piano and they steal my music.'

AI seems to be everywhere you look.

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It seems that every software company from Google to Microsoft is developing its own artificial intelligence bots that can generate answers, essays, and photos at the click of a button.

Even Snapchat has a bot for each user to chat to if they get lonely.

Some people believe that companies are taking it too far, past ethical bounds, to get their artificial intelligence up and running. James Joyce on TikTok pointed to Adobe as an example of this.

Adobe recently updated their terms and conditions and upon reading the fine print James found something a little sketchy in the company’s new user agreement. According to their terms of service, the company can now access all user content through both automated and manual processes.

Later on in the new agreement, James says Adobe includes a clause stating that they can use user content for machine learning with their AI software.

It’s unclear whether this means the company can only access things uploaded to and created on one of their programs, or if it extends to any files on a device that their programs are downloaded on.


This train has no brakes. Please make it stop… #drawing #creative

♬ original sound – James Joyce

James equated this to spyware, calling it an “unethical” move by the company, and saying he doesn’t understand how software like this is even legal. He’s also curious if he’ll need to cut off his internet any time he wants to use Adobe, for fear they’ll look at or take something they’re not supposed to.

For James, this is his last straw with Adobe. he plans on using something else for work from here on out, and encourages his viewers to do the same. He points out that the best way to get companies to listen is by letting money, or lack thereof, talk.

Commenters are in total agreement, many of them saying they’ve already made the switch from Adobe programs. One viewer even chimed in that professionals are having to switch from Adobe because their new terms violate NDA clauses.

In a follow-up video, James says the situation is worse than he thought. Upon a closer look at the terms and conditions, Adobe claims licenses to user content. The worldwide license grants them permission to reproduce, use, publicly display, distribute, modify, and create derivative work from your content.

James says he plans on ending his subscription but warns followers not to cancel theirs too early. He says users get charged heavily for ending a subscription before its renewal date. Thsi subscription service is something that the United States government has taken to court.

According to The Verge, the Justice Department is suing Adobe for deceptive subscriptions that are too difficult to cancel. The U.S. government alleges that Adobe tricks users into lengthy subscriptions through complicated web pages, cancellation fees, and numerous other hurdles.

With so many accusations and complaints lobbied against them, it’s looking like many professionals are taking this as their final straw.

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Jensen Bird
Jensen is a Freelance Writer at We Got This Covered. She specializes in TikTok and social media content. She is currently pursuing her M.S. in Journalism at Columbia University and has a degree in Foreign Language & Communications Media. Jensen spends way too much time scrolling on TikTok and is grateful for a position that lets her write about it.