Some interpreted the change as helping Evernote employees see users’ private notes on the popular note-taking app.
“Trust is at the heart of our service,” O’Neill said in a statement on the company’s website.
That means we need to be transparent, admit our missteps, and commit to making the Evernote experience the best it can be, from the way the app functions
across platforms to the way we communicate with the people who use it.
Instead, they will revise the policy and affirm that users’ data remains private.
Here’s more from the statement:
In addition, we will make machine learning technologies available to our users, but no employees will be reading note content as part of this process
unless users opt in. We will invite Evernote customers to help us build a better product by joining the program.
WHITE PAPER: How to break bad news to staff and take tough questions head-on.
Still, the damage was done, and O’Neill has been shouting to every publication that will post his quotes that the company values user privacy and its
employees will not be reading users’ notes.
He summed up the company’s position thusly:
intent, and our customers let us know that we messed up, in no uncertain terms. We heard them, and we’re taking immediate action to fix it. We are excited
about what we can offer Evernote customers thanks to the use of machine learning, but we must ask for permission, not assume we have it. We’re sorry we
To Fast Company, he went so far as to admit, “We screwed up, and I want to be really clear about that.”
Rather than employees reading users’ notes, Evernote users will be offered machine learning solutions for suggestions, links, etc. based on cues within