Evernote Weathers Privacy Snafu

What the heck is going on over at Evernote?

The popular productivity app is walking back a proposed policy that would have given its staff access to users’ private notes.

Evernote tried to justify the intrusion as a check on the effectiveness of its machine learning technology.

But -- big surprise! -- users protested the privacy invasion.

“We announced a change to our privacy policy that made it seem like we didn’t care about the privacy of our customers or their notes,” Evernote CEO Chris O’Neill said in a statement. “This was not our intent, and our customers let us know that we messed up, in no uncertain terms.”

Thus, the startup now plans to require users’ clear consent before reading their personal entries.  

“Trust is at the heart of our service,” according to O’Neill. “That means we need to be transparent, admit our missteps, and commit to making the Evernote experience the best it can be.”

More broadly, Evernote’s future remains uncertain. About a year ago, some Web watchers were already writing the company’s obituary.

Earlier in the year, Evernote pulled the plug on Market -- the e-commerce platform on which it sold Evernote-branded products and Evernote-integrated office products.

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