Evernote Has A Privacy Policy That Allows Their Employees To Read Your Notes

Evernote is a popular tool that allows you to take notes, create to-do lists, and save things you find online. Plus it syncs with all your devices. Sounds great right? What’s not so great is the fact that they have a privacy policy that has been around for some time which allows their employees to read your notes. This issue came to light when a notification came out about an upcoming update to the policy:

The latest update to the Privacy Policy allows some Evernote employees to exercise oversight of machine learning technologies applied to account content, subject to the limits described below, for the purposes of developing and improving the Evernote service.

This is primarily to make sure that our machine learning technologies are working correctly, in order to surface the most relevant content and features to you. While our computer systems do a pretty good job, sometimes a limited amount of human review is simply unavoidable in order to make sure everything is working exactly as it should.

Then there is this:

I really don’t like this change and don’t want Evernote employees to see my notes. What are my options?

While we think machine learning is a great tool that will help you get the most out of your Evernote experience, we understand that not everyone feels the same way. If you would prefer to opt out of machine learning technologies on your content (including some which require some human review for oversight purposes), you can do so in your account settings, where it says, “Allow Evernote to use my data to improve my experience.” If you do opt out, however, you may not be able to get the most out of your Evernote experience. And please note that you cannot opt out of employees looking at your content for other reasons stated in our Privacy Policy (under the section, “Does Evernote Share My Personal Information or Content?”).

If you wish, you also can decide to export your data and leave the Evernote service by following these steps. We would hate to see you go, though, especially when we continue to have so many exciting new developments to share with you!

So if I have confidential info in Evernote, as a lot of companies do because I know a lot of companies who use Evernote, I will in effect get a different user experience if I opt out of this. Hmmmm…. That’s a bit of a downer. And on top of that, I still can’t keep Evernote employees from looking at my stuff.

To be fair, Evernote isn’t giving the ability to read your data to all of its employees. It’s only a limited set will have the necessary privileges to access customer data. And this policy as I mentioned above isn’t new. It’s just come to light recently because the company highlighted it. But that doesn’t really make me feel better. And I am sure that those who are the paranoid sort may be looking at other options such as Apple Notes in more recent versions of OS X/macOS or Microsoft OneNote.

In the meantime, if I were Evernote I would be trying to clarify this right now as I don’t think there’s anything nefarious going on here. But from an optics perspective, it could be spun that way. And that’s not good for Evernote.



2 Responses to “Evernote Has A Privacy Policy That Allows Their Employees To Read Your Notes”

  1. […] I posted that Evernote had a privacy policy that allowed their employees to see your data. You could opt out […]

  2. […] has been an interesting week for Evernote. After having a privacy policy change come to light that highlighted the fact that they could have access to their…. Predictably that blew up and their CEO tried to make it go away by clarifying […]

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