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Adobe PDF Reader 7.0 Javascript Tracking

Adobe Acrobat PDFA hidden undocumented feature in Adobe PDF Reader can track how many times a PDF document has been accessed. It can also log the number of times it was viewed from the IP address of the computer on which it was opened. For the feature to be used, a PDF had to be created, uploaded to the company's server to be tagged, and then distributed.

Adobe Reader 7.0 comes with JavaScript support enabled by default and this enables the tracking. The tracking failed when the PDF was viewed by other readers such as Xpdf and Kpdf, and version 5 of Abode Reader.

The information is submitted over port 80 using HTTP - the standard port for web servers - which no home or office firewall would normally block.

John Hogerland, the technical marketing director for Adobe's Intelligent Document Business Unit, and Mark Phibbs, marketing director for the Asia-Pacific, said they they are unaware of features in the latest version of Adobe Reader .

Source: Adobe unaware of tracking claims