Evernote’s new privacy policy allows employees to read your notes

Note-taking software maker Evernote has announced an update to its Privacy Policy, scheduled to go into effect on January 23rd. Several changes represent privacy concerns for users,  especially the clause allowing Evernote employees access to read customer’s notes.

According to the new policy, Evernote will allow company employees to read your notes for the purposes of verifying and improving machine learning technologies applied to account content. While Evernote does allow users to opt out of machine learning technologies by deactivating the “Allow Evernote to use my data to improve my experience” option in the account settings, the company says “you cannot opt out of employees looking at your content for other reasons stated in our Privacy Policy.” This includes accessing your content for the purposes of investigating suspected Terms of Service violations, maintenance and improvement of service, and complying with Law Enforcement requests.

This change represents a significant privacy and security risk for users who store sensitive information in Evernote. Concerned users can opt to encrypt sensitive text inside their notes, or may migrate to a more secure app like OneNote.

Update (December 16, 2016): In response to concerns from users and the media, Evernote announced that the company will abandon the proposed changes to the Privacy Policy. This does not affect the existing policy that Evernote employees may access your data for reasons other than enabling machine learning.

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