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Adobe ETLA Terms of Use

Adobe ETLA Terms of Use


Adobe is a cloud software that, according to the license terms, is provided to RWTH Aachen University and has various products (Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.).

Adobe ETLA is used by installing it locally and licensing it in the cloud. Data storage is technically possible in the cloud and is subject to organizational regulations.


The services offered are provided on servers located in cloud data centers of Adobe and not in the data center of RWTH Aachen University. Therefore, RWTH Aachen University has no physical access to the hardware. However, RWTH Aachen University is responsible for realizing the authentication and administration of the licenses.


To technically enable the authentication as well as the administration of the licenses, the following data must be transferred from the employees to Adobe:

  • First and last name
  • (Business) e-mail address from the Organization Directory

Adobe has been reduced, as far as technically possible, to cloud products and services that have their storage location in Ireland.


The IT Center has also implemented the following framework centrally:

  • The disclosure of the above-mentioned personal data is controlled via the IT Center and updated using data from Identity Management (IdM).
  • Authentication is done via the single sign-on service (Shibboleth) of RWTH Aachen University. No access data (username + password) is passed on to Adobe.
  • The following lifecycle will be implemented:

Employees can no longer log in to Adobe after leaving RWTH Aachen University. The account will be permanently deleted after 48 months of inactivity. Alternatively, users can submit a personal request for deletion of their data to Adobe. This data will then be completely deleted within 30 days.

  • The storage limit is 100 GB.
  • The following labels are provided that can be used to categorize the data: public, internal, confidential, strictly confidential.

The following obligations apply to the user. These arise directly from Adobe's license terms as well as measures for compliance with data protection and data security:

  • Use of Adobe's products and services is subject to the then-current version of Adobe's Terms of Service and the Online Services Privacy Addendum (DPA).
  • Please note that Adobe performs content analytics on content that is processed or stored on Adobe servers. This cannot be turned off.
  • Adobe products and services are to be used exclusively for business purposes or business projects in compliance with legal retention periods and archiving laws. 
  • The use of Adobe is intended for activities in the context of RWTH Aachen University. Accordingly, the storage of private data online is not permitted, nor is use for commercial purposes.
  • When using Adobe, you must comply with all applicable laws and regulations (licensing law, privacy law, personnel records law, tax law, copyright law, telemedia law, archive law, U.S. export control law, etc.).
  • You are only authorized to use Adobe products and services during the licensed period (23.11.2022-22.11.2025). All Products and Services must be deleted and may not be used further if RWTH Aachen University terminates its agreement with Adobe or fails to join/renew or purchase perpetual licenses prior to the end of the Licensed Term, whichever occurs first. Users will be notified of any changes/renewals.
  • Acrobat Pro DC and PDF Services may not be used in the cloud because the cloud storage for these two products is currently located in the United States.
  • Strictly confidential data may not be stored in the cloud due to the very high protection requirements; accordingly, storage as well as processing in the cloud is not permitted of: 
    • data containing information that, if disclosed or lost, could result in damage or liability to the University, as well as personal data for which compliance with data protection regulations or fulfillment of information obligations cannot be ensured.
      Examples include: 
      • Personal data (attendance lists or lists of participants in an event), especially data on racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, or religious or ideological beliefs.
      • Travel or payroll data (financial data, social data, data related to the personnel file).
      • Research data not already intended for public use. 
      • Technical data (construction plans of sensitive rooms; network plans). 
      • Protected data (sick notes, draft certificates, contracts). 
      • Examination data (appraisals and corrections).
      • Data containing information for which unauthorized inspection must be prevented. This includes information that must be kept secret due to contractual obligations or information that is subject to the duty of confidentiality.
  • Confidential data must be stored in encrypted form.
  • When using Adobe Cloud as a personal document repository, i.e., without sharing the documents with other people, there is an obligation to encrypt the stored data. Appropriate instructions and references to tools are available in the IT Center documentation. 
  • No central backup is created by the IT Center or Adobe for the data stored in the Adobe Cloud. Specific documents can be synchronized to endpoints.
  • Adobe Cloud is not a system for permanent storage in the sense of archiving. 
  • Sharing of documents in Adobe or collaboration with external parties:
    • Between universities, the use of Adobe is possible for existing contracts or projects, but we recommend the use of Sciebo. Sciebo as an established service already covers this use case.
    • Sharing with external companies or research institutions is only possible with existing contracts (e.g., cooperation agreements) that regulate the exchange of data. It must be ensured that all parties have the appropriate licensing. Department 9 is available to answer any legal questions.
    • Sharing Adobe with private individuals who do not have a (contractual) relationship with the university is not permitted.
    • From the point of "confidential", data may only be stored and shared in encrypted form.

By using Adobe, you accept the above terms. If you do not agree to these terms of use, please refer to the IT Center Help information pages for a link to alternative products.


In addition, we recommend the following courses of action:

  • We generally do not recommend storing data in the cloud.
  • If, contrary to the recommendation, data is stored in the cloud, the respective user is responsible for securing the stored data.
  • Please check the necessity of each storage in the cloud.
  • Use the option to label the stored data and documents with appropriate categories.
  • Exclusive use of Adobe Cloud (without alternative local solutions) is not recommended.
  • You can still use Acrobat Pro DC if you install it locally (local storage only).
  • Please observe the existing FDM processes and solutions at RWTH Aachen University when processing and storing research data.
  • Use of private end devices is at your own responsibility and is only allowed with Named User Licenses (NUL). If you store the data on private devices, RWTH Aachen University cannot provide any warranty or support in case of data loss.

last changed on 08/04/2023

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