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Legal action against Adobe for Privacy violation
in the Netherlands

| Privacy | Adobe | The Netherlands |

Joost van Dam

Digital marketing intern

How to make Google Fonts GDPR-Compliant?

Consent and Preference

Nixon digital for ServiceManager

Tristan Terlouw

Digital Marketing Strategy Nixon

Adobe, famous for its PDF software and Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), is facing legal trouble in the Netherlands. The Dutch Data Protection Foundation (SDBN) is taking legal actions against Adobe. The foundation stated that Adobe secretly collects personal data of Dutch citizens. SDBN claims that Adobe is doing this through the use of tracking cookies and mobile apps. This issue is impacting businesses more than customers in the Netherlands.

The claims by SDBN

Adobe is accused of violating GDPR regulations, and SDBN wants compensation for about seven million Dutch internet users. Adobe is collecting data via websites that use AEM as a CMS, this affects almost all people in the Netherlands who use the internet. SDBN says that if you use Chrome or download apps, you are a “victim of Adobe”. Anouk Ruhaak, who leads the group, said, “If you shopped online for Christmas or Sinterklaas, Adobe probably knows exactly what you looked at and where you bought your perfume.” 

This data is said to be gathered by placing cookies on websites of various companies including KPN, ABP, Beter Horen, Marktplaats, Buienradar, and even the Dutch Tax Authorities. SDBN wants Adobe to stop collecting personal data using tracking cookies and mobile apps. They want big tech companies to respect Dutch citizens their online privacy. In the past, the organization took similar legal actions against companies such as X and Amazon. 

Adobe’s response

Adobe is responding to the accusations from the SDBN. They say the claims are based on a misunderstanding. Adobe wants to make it clear that when they help Adobe Experience Cloud clients, they are a data processor, not a data controller. They say the SDBN is blaming the wrong group. Adobe says it is the clients who are the data controllers. They make decisions about data collection, cookies, and consent on their websites. Adobe thinks the accusations do not have enough proof, and the announcement seems like it is trying to find people to join the case. But they do not explain the process or the technical details. The SDBN does not say who is funding the case, and that is important because it is a big risk for whoever is paying for the case. 

How is this influencing you?

This legal action against Adobe for privacy violation in the Netherlands could potentially impact your company in a few ways. If the court does rule against Adobe, and they are in violation of the GDPR, Adobe is forced to change their data collection methods. This will affect the tools and services they provide for your website. It is important for you to stay informed about this situation and be prepared to adapt to any changes that may result from the legal proceedings. 

On top of that, the SDBN’s investigation into Adobe’s data practices is a clear reminder of the importance of transparency and user trust. Companies that are working with Adobe might lose customer trust. This loss of trust can lead to reduced customer loyalty, increased turnover, and a damaged brand reputation. 

For example, it is important to the Tax Authorities that the users of the website are protected, for this reason the organization has disabled the Adobe cookies functionality on the website as a precaution until Adobe has clarified the matter. 

What is going to happen now?

Despite recent attempts to communicate with the software company, there have been no resultsSDBN is now taking this matter to court and inviting victims of Adobe’s so-called data collection to join a lawsuit. They are demanding the destruction of the collected data. People can already register for the lawsuit for free via jestaattekoop.nl. 

What are our thoughts?

Adobe claims to have the proper consent for the data collection and if not, it is then the responsibility of the website owner. What really matters is that customers and their personal data are the biggest losers in this case.  

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