Evernote Reverses Course on Privacy Policy Changes

After several days of customer and general tech community backlash, Evernote has reversed their policy that would have allowed a select number of their employees read your notes.  The change was announced late last night on the Evernote Blog where it is made clear, in bold, that employees will not be able to read your notes without your express permission.  Good.

In addition, we will make machine learning technologies available to our users, but no employees will be reading note content as part of this process unless users opt in. We will invite Evernote customers to help us build a better product by joining the program.

Frankly, this is how this should have been in the first place and it is good to see the company respond to consumers and their customers.

As part of the blog post, Evernote’s CEO Chris O’Neill stated that the company made a false step and that they should ask for permission from their customers, not assume that they have it when it

Evernote for Android
Evernote for Android

comes to accessing accounts, even if it is for their new Machine Learning technologies.

“We announced a change to our privacy policy that made it seem like we didn’t care about the privacy of our customers or their notes. This was not our intent, and our customers let us know that we messed up, in no uncertain terms. We heard them, and we’re taking immediate action to fix it,” said O’Neill. “We are excited about what we can offer Evernote customers thanks to the use of machine learning, but we must ask for permission, not assume we have it. We’re sorry we disappointed our customers, and we are reviewing our entire privacy policy because of this.”

The entire fiasco is a good example of a tech company overreach and they likely have paid for it financially.  Many of you and personal friends have emailed, texted or posted comments that their accounts are being cancelled and I doubt many of them will return even as the company has changed course.  I, for one, will not be returning.

2 Replies to “Evernote Reverses Course on Privacy Policy Changes”

  1. What are you using in lieu of Evernote? I believe, like myself, you are heavily invested in the ChromeOS environment. What have you found that is a good substitute for Evernote for use on a Chromebook?

    1. I’m a bit mixed at the minute between OneNote online and Google Keep. Most of my work stuff is in OneNote and I can get to it from any device easy enough. Personal stuff is more in Keep.

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