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Evernote employees will read your notes to make its AI better

by Brandon Russell | December 14, 2016December 14, 2016 11:15 am PDT


Evernote on Wednesday sent out an email to customers highlighting a new update to its Privacy Policy, and it has a lot of longtime users upset.

In the email, Evernote describes its aspirations to “become your external brain,” which the service says will include using new automated technologies. But in order to ensure the service’s new technology is working as intended, employees will need to look at your notes.

“Your data remains confidential; access to customer data is strictly limited as outlined in our Privacy Policy,” the email reads.

The good news is you can opt out of Evernote’s new “technical innovations,” which go into effect on Jan. 23 of next year. The bad news? Apparently, the fine print of Evernote’s new policy says, “You cannot opt out of employees looking at your content for other reasons stated in our Privacy Policy.”

As Lifehacker points out, employees are free to look through your notes if you violate Evernote’s terms, or if the company is required to comply with legal obligations, among other reasons.

Is it time to find a new service?

Evernote’s new changes might seem harmless, especially if you don’t have anything to hide. However, it feels incredibly invasive to hear employees can look through your notes, which may include thoughts you don’t want others to read—and all in the name of improving machine learning.

Again, you can opt out of Evernote’s upcoming changes if you don’t want someone snooping through your notes, something that can be tweaked under your personal settings.

Evernote Lifehacker

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...