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Evernote engages in (one more) controversy by announcing that user notes can be read by the company [atualizado: voltaram atrás]

Little by little, the 10th decade of the 21st century unfolds like a kind of tragic and paranoid dystopia about security, privacy and invasion worthy of the best stories of George Orwell or Philip K. Dick. The newest chapter of this novel comes directly from Evernote, when the company responsible for one of the most well-known annotation services in the world caused a huge controversy by announcing that, with the implementation of a new privacy policy, it would allow its employees to read any and all user content without giving them the possibility to prevent this.

Multiplatform Evernote

The novelty that has left many hair users standing has to do with machine learning technology: according to Evernote, as of January 23, a limited number of its employees will be able to check notes and contents saved by customers of the service to monitor the artificial intelligence incorporated by the company and check if everything is working properly.

Evernote says that machine learning technology will make the app smarter and bring a personalized experience to each user, and that monitoring by real people is necessary to make everything happen. Either way, users can, if they wish, choose to stay out of the machine learning experience: just go to the service settings and deselect the option ?Improved Experience? ("Improved Experience") so there will be no machines or humans reading your notes to improve the use of the application.

The problem, however, goes beyond: as the new privacy policy states, same If the user chooses to dispense with such an improved experience, Evernote employees will still be able to access their notes in specific cases related to suspected violations of the terms of service. This was the point that touched the wound of many users of the service and caused a considerable number of them to abandon the entire platform.

One could argue that Evernote is simply making clear, in an act of honesty, a practice that is common to basically all companies that keep a portion of our personal data and records after all, it would be quite naive to believe that Apple or Google, for example , do not access our information when convenient or necessary (and, mind you, I?m not saying here that this would be something acceptable, but merely stating that something happens, whether or not).

The fact that the negative reactions to the new policy were so resounding that Evernote CEO Chris O?Neill had to come to the public to clarify the situation. The executive stated that, in case the user chooses to participate in the ?improved experience? through machine learning technology, all employees will see are excerpts of notes and content, without specifying the author, to monitor the operation of the technology. . If any of these notes have personal information, it will be automatically filtered and hidden.

In the "unavoidable" cases of violations of the term of service, O'Neill reported that they are rare and generally only apply to requests from government agencies, problem solving requested by the users themselves and the like. In this case, the user really cannot choose to prevent the company from accessing his notes, but the CEO says that the number of employees able to access this content is extremely limited and restricted to a team chosen by him (if that brings any peace) spirit).

After the faranic polemic involving the new pricing policy that limited synchronization to just two devices on the free account (and consequently caused a massive stampede of the service), yet another controversy is not exactly what Evernote is currently needing for its image . The question remains, however, and the proposal for reflection, whether the company's new policy is really (and abnormally) intrusive or the guys simply paid for its clarity.

Update · 12/16/2016 at 3:46 pm

Apparently, CEO Chris O?Neill?s explanations were not enough to put out the fire generated by the change, and Evernote is now coming back implementing this new privacy policy. In a post on its official blog, the company explains that, now, the decision to let or not employees to read their personal notes to monitor the machine learning technology will be of the users, that is, you can have the ?improved experience? with artificial intelligence and still not have its content monitored by Evernote.

After receiving feedback from many of our customers over the past few days expressing concerns about future changes in our privacy policy, Evernote is reaffirming its commitment to maintaining privacy at the heart of everything we do. Therefore, we will not implement the previously announced changes to the privacy policy that were scheduled to take effect on January 23, 2017. () We will make machine learning technologies available to all of our users, but no employees will have access notes content as part of this process, unless users choose to do so.

The second part of the polemics, however, continues to apply in the sense that, in cases of suspected violation of the terms of service, Evernote will be able to read your notes. This is a clause in the company's privacy policy that has existed, in fact, for longer than this controversy extends. Therefore, whoever feels comfortable staying, let him stay; who is not, who look for an alternative.

(via 9to5Mac, MacRumors)