PDF Tracking?

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CondorCluster
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PDF Tracking?

Postby CondorCluster » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:58 pm

Hi,

For licensed documents issued under the PDF format, can the documents 'phone home' to track who accessing them? For example if a document is issued for a set number of people only, can this actually be monitored?

As far as I can see, the only 'security' an author can add to a PDF file is password protection, and restrict certain functions like print and modify etc.

Thanks.
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BenTrabetere
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Re: PDF Tracking?

Postby BenTrabetere » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:30 am

I have never tried this or anything like it, but if I were interested in doing something like this I would look at DRM [spit] and Javascript. I suspect it would have many levels of failure. That said....

You might be able to accomplish this with Javascript and something like Google Analytics. Possible failures would be that not every PDF reader supports Javascript, and many PDF readers notify users when it is trying to access an outside resource.

There might be a DRM scheme that will give you what you seek. I imagine it would be difficult for you and the users to manage, which I find fitting. DRM is a pox on society.

As for password protection, you can also require a password to open a PDF.

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administrollaattori
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Re: PDF Tracking?

Postby administrollaattori » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:23 am

CondorCluster wrote:As far as I can see, the only 'security' an author can add to a PDF file is password protection, and restrict certain functions like print and modify etc.

You can set the password using Libreoffice Writer (File -> Export as PDF -> Security tab -> Set Passwords ).

set password.png

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CondorCluster
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Re: PDF Tracking?

Postby CondorCluster » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:49 am

The question was aimed more as the end user of a PDF document, rather than an author.

Basically can PDFs 'phone home' and let the originator know when and where the document is accessed?

BenTrabetere
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Re: PDF Tracking?

Postby BenTrabetere » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:03 am

CondorCluster wrote:Basically can PDFs 'phone home' and let the originator know when and where the document is accessed?

Is this a thought experiment or something you actually want to do?

I think might be possible with Javascript, I think it will be a lot more trouble than it is worth, and I am almost certain your rate of failure will be high.


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