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Photoshop’s Updated Terms of Use Have Everyone Upset About Privacy and AI

Adobe updated the terms of use for Photoshop, and people are not happy.

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Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite is a must-have for all creatives. Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro have become industry standards, with countless people across different fields utilizing these programs. However, Adobe updated its terms of use on June 5, 2024, and was immediately hit with backlash from its user base. Many believed that their content was going to be compromised, and in the worst possible case, used to train Adobe’s generative AI program, Adobe Firefly.

Adobe’s terms of use draws flak from, well, everyone

In their updated terms of use, Adobe stated that they may access users’ content through both automated and manual methods. They stated they will only do so in a way permitted by the law and may need to access people’s work for several reasons.

The reasons they listed included responding to feedback and support requests, detecting and/or preventing fraud, and security, legal, and technical issues. They said they may also need to analyze people’s content using techniques such as machine learning to improve their services, software, and user experience.

So, what happens if they find something wrong with your content? They state they reserve the right to remove it or restrict access to services and software if your work is found to be in violation of their terms. Therefore, if your work contains illegal content or abusive behavior, you risk having it removed.

This update immediately drew flak online. Many freelancers and creatives were worried about how Adobe would have access to anything they create, including work for clients that asked them to sign NDAs.

Others were more worried about how Photoshop was going to use machine learning for “content moderation.” Since Adobe has its own AI program, which creates AI-generated images based on prompts and machine learning, many expressed concern that their work would be unfairly used by Firefly.

The backlash against Adobe was loud, with many considering boycotting the company and deleting Creative Cloud altogether. Amid the noise, Adobe has released a statement clarifying their updated terms of use.

Adobe clarifies terms of use backlash

On June 6, the Adobe Communications Team released a clarification on their updated terms of use.

They clarified why Adobe has access to your content, stating, “Access is needed for Adobe applications and services to perform the functions they are designed and used for.” It is also needed to deliver their latest cloud-based features.

They also stated that Adobe has access to people’s content to screen for certain types of illegal content or other abusive content or behavior.

Adobe then addressed people’s concerns, stating that they will not use their customer’s content to train Firefly Gen AI models. Instead, Firefly will continue to use datasets of licensed content, such as Adobe Stock, and public domain content where copyright has expired. Adobe said they will also not claim one’s content as their own.

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Alexandria Lopez
Alexandria "Alexa" Lopez (She/Her) is a Freelance Writer for TheMarySue.Com. She graduated with a degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications from the University of Asia and the Pacific and has been writing online since 2017. Currently residing in Metro Manila, Alexa has been a fan of K-pop since she was a child, and this is a phase she will likely never outgrow. Besides that, Alexa loves video games, anime, and keeping up her Duolingo streak.