Some Evernote Employees Can Now Access User Data

Evernote has updated their privacy policy recently and it includes a change that may or may not sit well with some users. According to the changes that are outlined on Evernote's help page, some employees have the ability to access user data as part machine learning oversight. What that means is that some employees can access user notes, but not all employees. What machine learning oversight means is that while the machine learning technology that Evernote has baked into their product does its job and seems to do it well, sometimes it might overlook stuff, and that's where the employees can step in to make sure that everything more or less runs as it should.

As described by Evernote themselves, the machine learning oversight is so that they can continue to develop the Evernote service in a way that improves the user experience, but so as not to hasten any alarms with existing users, they make it clear that the changes to the privacy policy do not make changes to their stance on user data protection. They essentially make a point to alert users that their data still belongs to them, and it's still protected. Having said that, any access to user data at all simply may not go over well with everyone. The silver lining to the change is that Evernote says they keep the number of employees who have this kind of access to an absolute minimum, so they're not just letting any and all employees pop in and check out notes whenever they please.

For those that may be worried about Evernote selling or mining their data for revenue and ad purposes, user data is not sold off nor will it be mined for the purpose of serving up ads according to Evernote. Evernote's revenue structure comes from memberships so they have no need to serve up advertisements, but they do state that user data can possibly be used for informing customers of features that they may potentially be interested in. Whether or not Evernote actually chooses to exercise that use of data is unclear, but chances are that if you get any emails from Evernote at all, it'll be about a new feature or a change to service in some way, like when they increased prices on their plans. While it might put you off that the new machine learning features within Evernote have prompted this change, there is an option to opt out of machine learning technologies, which can be accessed from account settings, so there is no requirement to use it which means you can prevent employees from seeing your data in the first place. It's also worth mentioning that these changes haven't been put into place yet and will be integrated as of January 23rd.

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Justin Diaz

Head Editor
Lover of food, craft beer, movies, travel, and all things tech. Video games have always been a passion of his due to their ability to tell incredible stories, and home automation tech is the next big interest, in large part because of the Philips Hue integration with Razer Chroma. Current Device: Google Pixel.
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