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Apr 12, 2001
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Some users of Evernote have threatened to stop using the note-taking service after the company announced a new privacy policy scheduled to go into effect on January 23 that allows employees to read customers' notes.

The policy changes are related to machine learning algorithms, says Evernote, which are being tested on user content that the company has accumulated since going into operation. Specifically, Evernote explained that staff may need to read customer notes in order to ensure the algorithms are working as they should.
The latest update to the Privacy Policy allows some Evernote employees to exercise oversight of machine learning technologies applied to account content. 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.
In describing this position more succinctly, Evernote's privacy policy states that employees will look at notes "for troubleshooting purposes or to maintain and improve the Service". But some users are concerned about the vague wording of the clause, which journalist Stacy-Marie Ishmael has called "so broad as to be all inclusive". Meanwhile, some users have taken to social media to join a growing chorus of revolt.

Evernote says that only a limited number of employees who have undergone background checks will be able to access note content and that users can encrypt notes to prevent staff from reading them.

But while users can opt out of having their notes reviewed for machine learning purposes, Evernote can still access content for other reasons, including violations of terms of service, to protect the rights, property, or personal safety of Evernote and its users, or to comply with law enforcement requests, warrants, or court orders.

Users can read more about the new changes to Evernote's privacy policy here.

Update: Evernote CEO Chris O'Neill has shared a note to further address and clarify the changes. He said Evernote employees may see "random content" to ensure its machine learning algorithms are working properly, but "they won't know who it belongs to." Moreover, if any personal information is identified, it "will mask it from the employee."
If you choose to participate in these experimental features, you'll enjoy a more personalized experience. Select Evernote employees may see random content to ensure the features are working properly but they won't know who it belongs to. They'll only see the snippet they're checking. Not only that, but if a machine identifies any personal information, it will mask it from the employee.
O'Neill said Evernote remains committed to its Three Laws of Data Protection.

Article Link: Evernote's New Privacy Policy Lets Staff Read Customers' Notes 'to Improve the Service' [Updated]
 

macTW

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Oct 17, 2016
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April Fools...? There should way this could be true, but it likely is, which is unbelievable.
 
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benjitek

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2012
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The actual change is really the machine-learning part, which can be turned off. What remains if the user turns machine learning off is a standard privacy statement used by most note sync services, like OneNote.

A lot of the coverage this is receiving is amplified because many users never read and are unaware of the standard privacy statements used for any online sync service, whether it's email, calendaring, contacts, phone records, or notes. Service providers for these types of products in the US are legally required to work this way. Microsoft itself actually goes a lot further with the scope of user identifiable data they track at the OS level, and what they'll cough up with a legal request. Privacy is a concept, not a reality... :(

Evernote.png
 
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BMcCoy

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2010
1,695
3,382
I basically assume that users' content in all online services, particularly 'learning' services such as Siri, are in some way accessible to the developers. I decline all 'feedback' options in privacy settings, but assume that they still have some anonymised access, after all how else do they improve and develop services?

What I don't do is give the whole public world my personal life by posting on Facebook, twitter et al. IMO they represent a far greater threat to real privacy.
 

mkeeley

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2007
444
878
It says you can opt out of the machine learning technology (spying) but goes on to say "please note you cannot opt out of employees looking at your content for other reasons stated in our privacy policy". I recently bought a QNAP NAS and saw it comes with note station, think I'll start using that. I've nothing anyone would find interesting in my notes but that's not the point, don't trust any cloud services these days.

Sort of related. People thinking of ditching Macs and going Windows should check how spyware ridden that is first. Someone did a fresh install, set all the privacy options you can and it still phoned home over 5500 times in a 8 hours to 93 different IP addresses. Funny the mainstream tech press aren't making a bigger deal out of that.
 

canadianreader

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2014
779
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Funny the mainstream tech press aren't making a bigger deal out of that.
Mainstream tech and Microsoft sleep in the same bed. Re-reading 1984 of George Orwell can clarify a lot things.
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With invisible ink in your own made up language in a locked room on a deserted island after you've killed everyone. Maybe too far there.
I feel you and I are on the same page lol. Cause I already invented my own alphabet when I was a teen to avoid my parents reading my silly and personal diary.
 

robeddie

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Jul 21, 2003
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The actual change is really the machine-learning part, which can be turned off. What remains if the user turns machine learning off is a standard privacy statement used by most note sync services, like OneNote.

A lot of the coverage this is receiving is amplified because many users never read and are unaware of the standard privacy statements used for any online sync service, whether it's email, calendaring, contacts, phone records, or notes. Service providers for these types of products in the US are legally required to work this way. Microsoft itself actually goes a lot further with the scope of user identifiable data they track at the OS level, and what they'll cough up with a legal request. Privacy is a concept, not a reality... :(


Which is why I dont use icloud backup or
any other sync service.
But so many people for some reason dont care about their privacy.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

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Jul 10, 2008
4,197
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So glad I dumped that bloated nagware of a product.

I'm using Apple notes now. A focused, well executed product.

Sure seemed a stupid move for Evernote to change to only allowing 2 devices to sync with free accounts.

Apple is adding more and more to Notes each release and building an Evernote competitor. Now would be the time to try to pull more people in for Evernote, not push them away. Though maybe they're simply hoping to push more to paying for the service now, knowing that people will leave in the future as Notes becomes a viable alternative for most users.
 

robeddie

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Jul 21, 2003
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So glad I dumped that bloated nagware of a product.

I'm using Apple notes now. A focused, well executed product.

If its syncing, and in the cloud, its subject to being read by someone you dont intend.
Its amazing how a little bit of convenience will induce people to throw away their privacy.
What other rights are you ok with giving up?
 
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PBRsg

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2014
347
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This company has gone to crap in the last couple of years. I took all my documents off it a few months ago.
[doublepost=1481805550][/doublepost]
Even then, if you sync your notes to iCloud -- the sharing of them is governed by the privacy laws of the country you live in. Here in the US, they'd be handed over with a court order.

Convincing a judge is a much higher bar than the staff reading your documents whenever they feel it.
 

Porco

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
3,213
6,443
lol. Jokers.
Nevernote. They need to change their app icon to a white elephant.

It always amuses me (in a disgusted kind of way) when developers and companies tell us how they are deciding to change their products or policies or procedures in order to invade our privacy to make things better and more wonderful for everyone, including us, and if we don't like that for some crazy reason, we can choose to opt-out. Like they're doing us a favour.

If the argument is ever worthwhile, they should leave it to the user decide to opt IN, based on the merits of the argument, or at least offer some new benefit or bonus on top of what went before as a carrot. Otherwise, they are simply sending a clear signal that they know the story they are peddling is as much utter hooey as much as we the user think it is (once we actually find out about it).
 

MacBH928

macrumors 604
May 17, 2008
7,202
3,098
This is exactly why I didn't trust using their notes app-Penultimate.

The internet has gone crazy with spying... why just can't we go back to the good o'l days when you sign up to Hotmail, you only needed a nick name, no real phone number real identity logging of everything. You just get advertisement based on your IP address more or less.

Apple Notes is not an alternative because Apple is so crazy in the closed environment, you must own Apple software+hardware to access it.
 
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CarpalMac

macrumors 68000
Nov 19, 2012
1,560
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UK
I am absolutely loving using OneNote. First application I load up now at work every day now since migrating to it after Evernote changed their pricing structure. After years of meaning to, I have finally taken the time to learn how to use it properly.

Thanks Evernote.
 
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