Evernote’s privacy changes

Catharsisjelly wasn’t very happy with Evernote’s latest privacy changes. Though they are not going ahead any more, it’s worth remembering these events:

In today’s online world, it sometimes pays big online corporations to listen to their audience. Consumers these days have a much bigger voice with social media; Any company, that does not at least attempt to listen to their fans is probably doomed to failure. Sometimes these corporations forget this and get it oh so very wrong. Take what happened when Facebook took over Instagram as an example, that went horribly wrong and yes, Facebook eventually turned around on their decision… But it does make me wonder how many people instantly shut down their accounts, then never trusted Instagram ever again?

What happened


Note-taking app Evernote has just done something similar, something which quite royally scared the bejesus out of me, so much so that I took exactly that option. Backup everything that I had on there, then spread the word as best I could. I removed all of my data from their service, disabled my account (there is no delete option) then e-mailed them, asking them to purge all my information they had attached to my account. Yes that was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, but it felt right and I am not really the kind of person to run around with my arms flailing in the air, yelling that the sky is falling in. If you missed the story then you can read the ZDNet article that I discovered it through.

My stance on the changes was that at no point should a human who I don’t know be reading my data. It’s not like I keep my life’s work or private information there but if I want my writing to be private then it’s private. If I want to share it then I will choose who, how and when. It was just something that I was not prepared to compromise on.

What happened next


Now Evernote no longer (as far as I have found) have any links left to the original proposed changes which some might feel as a bit of a cover up but you can still find the reactions to it on the Evernote forum. Since then they have revised their stance on these changes and put out a blog post updating their customers about this. They also have gone to the trouble of clarifying their stance on privacy where commendably the CEO even gave out his personal Twitter handle if any customer thought that the company was not listening.

For some people, it was too little too late. I have yet to decide if I want to go back to Evernote or not as yet. The app was very useful and I have used it for several years for free. It worked on all platforms and I used it a lot for writing down notes and even preparing these articles. I was pleased to see that the customer service person who dealt with my request to purge all the data they own related to my account dealt with it in a swift and efficient manner. They even told me about the changes to the privacy update which did not change my mind. I guess I wanted to follow the process through to see how much they resisted me and by not doing so they did redeem some of the trust I had for them back.

So I’m now using Google Keep for everything I had on Evernote and looking for a note taking application that will work cross platform (including mobile) that I can format and export, one that will synchronise without issue and is a minimal fee, or a has a well priced one off cost… Or better yet, free! It’s a lot to ask and I may still go back to Evernote yet.

Tell us what your opinion was or would have been on these privacy changes. Were you one of the people that saw the changes of the Facebook/Instagram merger and went nope! Give us your feedback via our comments section or over on Facebook. You can also hit us up on Twitter and Reddit.

Author: catharsisjelly

Geek, writer, baker and traveller. Open minded introvert with a slight extrovert streak