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Tracking PDF Documents
Track PDF: PDF Tracker to monitor PDF usage
track pdf


Monitoring PDF: Track PDF Files & Monitor PDF Usage

Tracking pdf document use always sounds like a really neat idea.  Monitoring pdf use should tell you who opened or printed a document, when it was, and where they did it.  At least in theory.

There are normally two reasons for wanting to track pdf files.  First is marketing analysis - which are the most popular pdf documents in terms of how often they are read rather than just numbers sold.   If you are monitoring pdf use then you can see if a document is opened lots of times by the same person.  Second is authorized use - did someone unauthorized try to open a document, or an authorized person open it from a 'strange' location.  So when you have a question about document distribution you can track pdf files and see where they went.

Of course, to track pdf usage you have two choices for how you do it.  You could be using either a page server, handing individual pages down to a client, or a reporting server that relays from the client when a document is opened (and maybe when it closes, but most likely not).

So the first thing to understand is when tracking pdf documents you are forcing recipients to always be online. Because the monitoring pdf technology needs to 'phone home' to tell you what is happening.

For a business proposition this could be a disaster.  Many people need offline access to documents, but a pdf tracker cannot see that.  So monitoring pdf ebooks and magazines may not be such a good idea.

Also, privacy is becoming a bigger issue.  In many countries you must register what it is that you intend to collect if it relates to personal information - and in the EU the opinion is that anything linking a person to an IP address is personal data.  You also have to register what you will use the data for, and ask the consumer for their informed consent to monitoring.  So you may have to set up a raft of policies and procedures before you can track pdf use.

This does not apply to business users, but it may be a fine point.  Plenty of institutions, such as banks, do not, as a matter of policy, allow pdf tracking of documents used internally.  Some pdf tracker products cannot be used in those environments.

And where is the pdf document that is being tracked?  Some theories say you can track pdf documents by IP address, but that doesn't mean much if you are seeing an ISP with thousands of customers.  Also, pdf tracking by email address may not mean so much if it's not a company email address since many people use  freemail accounts to avoid identification.

Finally, in pdf monitoring, who is the recipient?  On a home PC or a laptop it is whoever is using it. You don't ever know who is actually sitting in front of the screen (although that might be an interesting and expensive research project).  People are generally  completely relaxed about letting others use their computers, so you may not be monitoring what you think.

PDF Tracker Software

Using Enterprise PDF Security you can track PDF documents and monitor PDF usage.

See what users are opening your documents, and from where, and how often they are being viewed. Monitor PDF print usage and instantly revoke documents if you think they are being misused.   Track PDF files no matter where they are stored or who they are sent to.  Tracking PDF files has never been easier.


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