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gbarry

Evernote’s Privacy Policy Updates

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The arrogance! 

I could allow Evernote employees to read my notes if they allow me to read theirs!!!!

Adios Evernote, thanks for trampling on privacy. I really hope you fail!

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On 12/9/2016 at 9:45 AM, gbarry said:

Beginning December 9th, customers will begin receiving a notice via email about changes to our Privacy Policy. Please review the FAQ here which details what’s changing, and let us know if you have any questions. The changes will be effective January 23, 2017. 

I stuck it out with your price increase. But this is beyond the pale and I am done.

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I'm deeply disappointed, this is creepy as hell. 

What I really want out of Evernote is a place where I can write notes on either my Mac or my Android phone and read them on both devices. That's it. No machine learning. No human snooping. Ideally every note would be strongly encrypted with only me knowing the key, not Evernote. 

I've been a paid subscriber for years and really like Evernote, but this has me re-thinking my reliance on Evernote. At the very least, it's incredibly tone-deaf as to what users really want. I've never thought, "Golly, I'd really like some algorithms, and occasionally people, to read my files." Never. But you know what I think all the freaking time? I think, "I would like more companies to respect my privacy and security above all other concerns."

 

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Evernote, 

This revised privacy policy is unacceptable. I plan to have my data moved to One Note before this change goes into effect. Please reconsider this policy as I do not look forward to learning a new workflow. Shame on you.

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Just +1ing the disappointment that comes from hearing your trusted service for nearly 10 years wants to allow the viewing of your "private" notes for their internal experiments.

I don't how this passed the Evernote management "sniff" test, but regardless losing the trust of your users is not exactly in better business playbook.

Thanks for wasting 20min of my time Evernote so I can explain the obvious: don't destroy your user's trust by removing privacy by default.

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What can I say, a couple of years ago I went premium and things worked just fine and I started to use it more. Actually got a few in the family to start using it so we could share some medical stuff. Then I got more and more irritated with notes getting translated into HTML (some information in text-only notes disappears) but I still used it more and more.

The price increase was not a big worry, if Evernote delivered value for the money I would happily pay for it. But my main problem was that the more info I put into Evernote the more difficult it got to discover information, navigation become more cumbersome etc. So I started to use it less and less, now it's actually only once each week (on Sundays when I create one specific note) + the family sharing stuff. I don't use it for work anymore and not for private stuff. Instead I'm using DevonThink and Apple Notes - work way better than Evernote.

This announcement and the fact that staff has been allowed to check the notes (I hadn't realised that before, should have read the T&C more carefully) make me an even more unhappy customer.

Unfortunately I didn't see that my account was up for renewal a week ago ... so I'm a premium user for another year.

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Evernote, still shooting yourselves in the foot I see. You seem to have a knack for generating bad press.

BTW, for those making excuses for a blatant disregard of users info, did you trust Yahoo too? Did you see the reports from yesterday and also get yet ANOTHER data breach note from them? 

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Doesn't explain how Personal Information will be masked

Doesn't say whether attachments are included

Doesn't say how often these checks will happen

Doesn't say what level of employee will have access

Doesn't say what checks and balances are in place

Doesn't explain why you can't use test data or your own data

Doesn't seem like he really listened to users at all - just to the general press outcry.

Doesn't inspire trust

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I have been using Evernote for years now, but trust me dear people at Evernote. I WILL cancel my premium account and move to OneNote if you read my personal notes. Simple decision.

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引用

Like other internet companies, we must comply with legal requirements such as responding to a warrant, investigating violations of our Terms of Service such as reports of harmful or illegal content, and troubleshooting at the request of users.

Do you know that many people are not living in democratic countries like the US? If they live in a country like China, you are putting the users into risks. I am in Hong Kong in which the government is turning into a dictatorship as it keeps charging innocent citizens!

 

引用

machine learning that will allow you to automate functions you now have to do manually, like creating to-do lists or putting together travel itineraries

The main reason I choose Evernote but not Google Now or Dropbox is the 'manually' as you said! I prefer my mind of control to everything that will do it for me because I enjoy the process and I will gain memories. If I want automation, I will ask Google to help me. What I really want is to greatly improve the iOS UI used for more than three years since iOS 7, as it doesn't have a smooth workflow for me.

 

引用

If you choose to participate in these experimental features, you’ll enjoy a more personalized experience.

Make sure you understand the option is default as on. Not off.

 

You still don't address the encryption issues as called by people here! You just say you protect us but actually not!

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i read the ceo's post, and i appreciate that evernote is listening to our conerns, but i think we have very different perspectives on things.

one of your competitors allows me to sync seamlessly among my apple devices with encryption for everything in my database (devonthink). another one of your competitors allows me to easily encrypt an entire note just by touching the home button on my phone (apple notes -- again, this is for apple folks). yet another competitor allows me to encrypt sections of my database (one note). all of this is zero-knowledge, meaning that no employee anywhere can read my data. it does not seem to me that we are anywhere close to other note-taking options out there, so i don't see what is "industry-leading" about any of this. i've been using evernote since it began (shard 1), i've been a longtime advocate for the service, and i am a premium member. i want to see evernote do well, and i don't think this is a good way to run things. at least, it isn't something i appreciate.

first, it is opt-out. now you are requiring me to take action to protect my privacy. this is exactly the opposite of what i think a paying customer ought to be asked to do. 

then, there is this vapid statement with a radio button next to it. what does this even mean, and how would anyone connect this to employees reading our note content? "improved experience       allow evernote to use my data to improve my experience"

as i said before in the thread, the change is really just saying that an undisclosed number of employees at at least two companies can already access our notes, and now a larger number of an undisclosed number can, so the policy itself isn't a large deviation from current practices. i don't think this is where folks ought to throw up their hands and quit in a fit of rage. but, the way evernote went about this, requiring customers to take action to maintain the same level of not-especially-strong privacy they already had, and then calling this industry-leading makes me think that we have radically different ideas of what protecting privacy looks like. or, at least, we disagree on what it ought to be like. it certainly makes me wonder if i'll renew my subscription.

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2 hours ago, benmc said:

We've spent the day listening to our users and understanding their concerns with upcoming changes to our privacy policy. Please see the clarifications from our CEO Chris O'Neill.

 

A Note From Chris O’Neill about Evernote’s Privacy Policy 

 

The Evernote Team

Well, this makes a bit of difference.  So Chris does not intend evil with the policy change, but his Attorney's have left the door open for evil in case Evernote wants to change hats one day.  Also I saw this article which is the best summary of the situation I have found.  Evernote’s privacy policy allows its employees to read your notes, and you can’t opt out – but it’s a little more complicated than that  With that, this seems to be little change after all and is no worse that what One Note is doing and at least Chris is wary of exercising what the Attorney's have made possible.  So Chris' message does make a difference to me.

The best ideas I have heard here is that notebook level encryption is desperately needed and that Evernote needs to launch a proper beta program.  They would have received tons of volunteers for a beta project of these "experimental features" rather than the forced opt into beta for all and this backlash.  I don't want to help Evernote tame their latest dragon so have already opted out.  I also note it would have helped the backlash had the opt out read more like "you will miss experimental features but other core items will remain the same", than an implied, "unchecking this box means severe limitations and restrictions" message.  Whoever wrote that opt out language knew the scare tactic would keep most the flock in their "experimental" pool and they wanted that because engineering told them the more pawns to play with the better.  Or so I think. 

It doesn't change the fact that this debacle has revealed that Evernote cannot be trusted with confidential information however.  If they want your data, they can open your data and act upon your data because you said they could.  But maybe now I will only port that important data to Apple Notes rather than my entire library based on Evernote's current stated intent.  I think I can trust Evernote with my kids Christmas lists, but not so much my company Federal EIN.

Edited by Byter68
typo - Tactic was spelled tatic

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I'm so glad I left evernote a year ago. I came here to see if the news was true...

yup...happy I'm gone. Good luck everyone with your private confidential information! Let's see what Charlie and Linda on the second floor think of your bank statements and business proposals in your notebooks :ph34r:

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Anyone have a suggestion how I can get a refund for my account? Evernote is clearly breaking promises so I should refund me.

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50 minutes ago, robsky said:

Anyone have a suggestion how I can get a refund for my account?

You could contact Evernote support at Contact Evernote Support Twitter @evernotehelps
Shoud be more productive than posting in discussion forums :)

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Anyone else worried that this may be the start of the demise of Evernote?

Looks like a ton of people are leaving EN on Twitter.

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They've got more than 100m users with a couple of million people paying. People screaming into the vacuum on Twitter probably isn't a great indicator.

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2 minutes ago, GiacomoLaw said:

Anyone else worried that this may be the start of the demise of Evernote?

Looks like a ton of people are leaving EN on Twitter.

In regards to the "ton of people", there are paying and non-paying users
I don't see loss of non-paying users to be a concern (there are over a hundred million of them)
Loss of paying users could be a concern - I don't know the impact to the balance sheet

I'd be more concern about Evernote's reputation.  
All this bad press (even if inaccurate) is going to hurt with acquiring new customers

 

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3 minutes ago, Metrodon said:

They've got more than 100m users with a couple of million people paying. People screaming into the vacuum on Twitter probably isn't a great indicator.

Still, it seems as if everyday EN is doing something to annoy and lose customers. First the price increases and two devices, now this... :( 

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The device limitation was six months ago. This privacy thing seems to me like a clarification to the current privacy policy in an attempt to adjust their policies to take advantage of new opportunities gained through their transfer to Google's servers, a decision I did not like, but a massive project that seems to have gone relatively smoothly. If they'd have communicated more clearly, it probably wouldn't have drawn much criticism, so the doom and gloom talk doesn't seem justified here. 

Evernote will be fine, I think, 

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6 minutes ago, DTLow said:

In regards to the "ton of people", there are paying and non-paying users
I don't see loss of non-paying users to be a concern (there are over a hundred million of them)
Loss of paying users could be a concern - I don't know the impact to the balance sheet

I'd be more concern about Evernote's reputation.  
All this bad press (even if inaccurate) is going to hurt with acquiring new customers

 

Well they deserve this!

All this matter is very bad, and has been badly communicated!

My account has already been lost, last time I paid only to not be left out until I finish moving my data away, and this new "feature" isn't going to make me change my mind.

This idea seems really fishy to me, as I said before I don't trust EN anymore.

If they wanted to test something they should have created a beta testing program, making this feature opt-in, not opt-out!!!!

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8 minutes ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

Evernote will be fine, I think, 

I think the Elephant analogy went to their heads - they're big and friendly and cute and they mean well;  just every so often they go trampling off in a new direction causing lots of shouting and running...  ;)

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3 hours ago, GiacomoLaw said:

Anyone else worried that this may be the start of the demise of Evernote?

 

The start? No (where have you been). Just another nail in the coffin.

Computerworld said this...

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3150291/security/bye-privacy-evernote-will-let-its-employees-read-your-notes.html

... and directly infers that "opt-out" is incomplete for consumer accounts (versus business accounts). Quite troubling.

And not to say the present privacy policy is acceptable.

None of this is at all reassuring. Quoting from Evernote here and here ...

Quote

...if we think an account is being used maliciously and threatens the security of other accounts, our security team may investigate the account’s contents.

Evernote employees do not view the content of user notes except in very limited cases

Evernote data scientists need to do spot checks as they develop the technology.

If you choose to participate please note that you cannot opt out of employees looking at your content for other reasons stated in our Privacy Policy

 
 
 
 

I particularly like the part that says... If you choose to participate... No one here was offered a choice to participate ... that would be opt-in. As well ... the part which prefaces privacy intrusions with... "if we think" ... yes, and you can drive quite a large truck through that hole.

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First (and last) time poster, been using Evernote since the early days.

Well, I've stuck with Evernote even when the prices were raised, but this is too much.

I use machine learning on a weekly basis, FYI. Your arguments are extremely poor.

*USE YOUR OWN BUSINESS DATA INSTEAD OF YOUR CLIENTS' PRIVATE DATA*

Goodbye, Evernote. I'll use OneNote from now on, they even have a tool to import from your sorry app to their free one.

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17 minutes ago, Dr Sly said:

I'll use OneNote from now on, they even have a tool to import from your sorry app to their free one.

Have you tried their importer yet? You may be in for a fun ride, depending on your Evernote database...

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4 hours ago, Columbo said:

I have been using Evernote for years now, but trust me dear people at Evernote. I WILL cancel my premium account and move to OneNote if you read my personal notes. Simple decision.

Well you're not going to know if someone reads your notes so if that's an issue for you, cancel away.

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2 hours ago, GiacomoLaw said:

Anyone else worried that this may be the start of the demise of Evernote?

Looks like a ton of people are leaving EN on Twitter.

The demise started before this.  But maybe it will be saved.  I wouldn't judge anything based on Twitter though.  The vast majority of those and the vast majority of people here bitching won't actually quit.  They just like to whine and threaten.  If all of the people that griped on the forums after the price increase would have really quit, it may have gotten EN's attention.  But I doubt very many did.  It's easy to whine on an internet forum but it takes work to leave a service you've been with for years.  Don't think EN doesn't realize that.

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22 minutes ago, jefito said:

Have you tried their importer yet? You may be in for a fun ride, depending on your Evernote database...

It was a very smooth ride for me.

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Since Evernote employees are able to read my note contents. I'm out. I will not ever use Evernote again. The lack of privacy and security is unbelievable. 

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22 minutes ago, jefito said:
43 minutes ago, Dr Sly said:

First (and last) time poster, been using Evernote since the early days.

 

Or maybe 7 (and last) time poster?

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I wonder if they will make enough money on the switch to Google and these new features they are adding by using our data then to offset the revenue lost in loosing these exisitng customers.  All I know is it looks like I either need to switch to another vendor now while I have time to do it gracefully instead of when the company goes out of business for lack of new customers.

 

 

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So I've been browsing through the feature requests and not to many asking for machine learning technology (whatever that is), a wide range from improvements to note editing to better/easier encryption though. 

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Oh nice, has to be approved by a moderator, so I can sit here and rant and likely not even get it posted. Well anyway, just in case.

Cancelled my $70.00 premium subscription just over 2 months in because of all this. Asked Evernote for a refund of the ~$57.00 of unused Premium I have left from the rest of the year I won't use. They told me to go $%^# myself, the cash is all theirs now.

Just a few weeks over my 8 week refund window and they implement this change and deny me a refund. Talked to James B through their Customer Service e-mail and of course he's more interested in throwing TOS in my face than damage control and apologies and attempting to retain a customer. They can do what they want once they have my money, and I can go %$#@ myself if I'm not happy with it. Their TOS says so. So either be a good cash cow consumer, or GTFO. Thanks, Evernote. I stuck with you for the past few years hoping you'd improve the basic features, but now your going off on some stupid machine learning tangent, hooking up with Google who is the worlds shadiest data miner, starting to mine your own customers data, and then robotically spinning and rejecting customers...erp I'm sorry I mean moronic-cash-cows, who get upset at losing more privacy in a world that doesn't value it anymore. 

This keeps happening, more and more companies want you to bare yourself completely in the interest in fattening the CEO's wallets. Our culture is giving into it, because the only people who would have anything to keep private are devious people. No one wants to be shamed as a devious person, so they don't fight it. Evernote is either clueless about all of this, or just jumping on the bandwagon and getting those checking accounts and investment balances inflated before the company tanks. 

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6 hours ago, benmc said:

We've spent the day listening to our users and understanding their concerns with upcoming changes to our privacy policy. Please see the clarifications from our CEO Chris O'Neill.

 

A Note From Chris O’Neill about Evernote’s Privacy Policy 

 

The Evernote Team

This is in fact somewhat helpful, at least acknowledging the bad communication (any chance this will result in better communication in the future?), giving reassurances about access to content, and clarifying the actual purpose of the change. However, the nub of the issue is this:

Quote

We believe we can make our users even more productive with technologies such as machine learning that will allow you to automate functions you now have to do manually,

As several of us have said here, we profoundly disagree with this "belief." The examples given are not impressive. If Evernote can cite requests from users for this "improvement," they really ought to do so. Otherwise, this looks like more Evernote socks: something management thought users ought to want, without any evidence that they actually did; something that many users in fact instantly and actively despise; and something that draws serious resources away from improvements to editing and interface aspects of Evernote for which users have been asking for years.

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This change to your policy is absolutely unacceptable. I've trusted Evernote for years with very sensitive information thanks to its support for 2-factor authentication and HTTPS over the web app - hundreds of notes that contain private and proprietary information about clients and their data. I've relied on Evernote to uphold that trust. It has been the best option for keeping these notes on hand regardless of where I am or what device I'm using, and this policy completely undermines that.

I don't care how well-credentialed and background-checked your list of authorized employees are; the fact is you're asking me to trust unknown persons to have random access to this information, or to trust in algorithms I know nothing about to be able to identify what they should and should not see, in order to test what amounts to a toy.

It's my job to decide who should and should not have access to this information, not yours. The only situations where anyone should be granted access to my data are with my specific prior approval or under legal obligation.

If you can't test your machine learning algorithms in a developer sandbox using test data that hasn't been filched from unauthorized private sources, you are not ready to be playing with these tools.

For once I'm thankful the tech media started a panic, or I wouldn't have known to opt out - and I'm still wary of the other reasons you might choose to access my notes without authorization. It's a shame I even have to, since I'd like to see what you do with machine learning, but I don't see any way to opt out of snooping while opting in to the features you claim to need it in order to support. Worse yet, as a Linux and Android user exclusively, I can't even use your built-in encryption tools to protect sensitive notes on a per-item basis since you haven't bothered to support it on my platforms.

This is the worst in a series of unilateral decisions over the past year or so that have undermined my faith in your credibility and wisdom in moving Evernote forward. I understand you're under a lot of financial pressure but I can't understand how you thought doing this, especially in order to support a feature of dubious value, was supposed to help. I've come to the point where instead of considering upgrading my account in order to support you financially (despite not needing any of the things on offer in your paid tiers), I'm actively looking for a replacement for Evernote and no longer recommending it to friends and clients. What a shame.

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I'm upset with your UNINVITED privacy policy update. 

It does feel very "private" when Evernote employees can see into my account.

What safe guards are there to insure my data is private?????

How do I know Evernote won't take my saved data and sell it to advertisers or marketers to "target" me with their advertising campaigns.

I'm NOT a happy camper!!

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4 hours ago, rdolmat said:

I'm so glad I left evernote a year ago. I came here to see if the news was true...

yup...happy I'm gone. Good luck everyone with your private confidential information! Let's see what Charlie and Linda on the second floor think of your bank statements and business proposals in your notebooks :ph34r:

WRT the above, and to @GrumpyMonkey:

Quote

the change is really just saying that an undisclosed number of employees at at least two companies can already access our notes, and now a larger number of an undisclosed number can, so the policy itself isn't a large deviation from current practices

and to @Byter68:

Quote

If they want your data, they can open your data and act upon your data because you said they could.

I understand the desire for absolute, encrypted privacy. But is Evernote really supposed to spend time futilely fighting U.S. government subpoenas? Or let people use it as a base from which to distribute porn or malicious attacks? Any company that has Terms of Service requires access to data to enforce them. The existing privacy policy was realistic in such regards, IMO. The revision was ill thought out, especially in making it opt-out rather than opt-in. But to say that our content was already vulnerable to unwarranted (in a couple of senses!) employee snooping, or to imply that our personal information will be attached to data that is used for the new machine-learning research, is just adding to the FUD, IMHO.

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12 minutes ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

This is in fact somewhat helpful, at least acknowledging the bad communication (any chance this will result in better communication in the future?), giving reassurances about access to content, and clarifying the actual purpose of the change. However, the nub of the issue is this:

As several of us have said here, we profoundly disagree with this "belief." The examples given are not impressive. If Evernote can cite requests from users for this "improvement," they really ought to do so. Otherwise, this looks like more Evernote socks: something management thought users ought to want, without any evidence that they actually did; something that many users in fact instantly and actively despise; and something that draws serious resources away from improvements to editing and interface aspects of Evernote for which users have been asking for years.

You know what I want? I want Evernote to handle PLAIN TEXT. I want to type CODE into Evernote and note worry about how it messes with my single and double quotes. It breaks indentation when you paste in plain text, and then it converts it to whatever B.S. you have to have for default text, then re-convert it back to plain text. It's a mess!!!! It's almost like they want you to use Evernote, but make it difficult to pull information back out of it to use it in other places. 

Just another Apple or Google or Facebook, creating a walled garden making consumers reliant on the service and unable to go outside of the service, so that they can obtain as much information as possible from the user in order to mine it and make the service better. It makes sense as a business model and it works. And I guess people like me who get pissed off because of it are just stupid idiots who are claiming the sky is falling. Whatever. Just another drop in the tech-hatred bucket. Enjoy my 50 Bucks, Chris O'Neill.  

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26 minutes ago, pcguy said:

What also has me concerned that under

Does Evernote Share My Personal Information or Content?

  https://evernote.com/legal/privacy.php?2017-update

There is the following "We do so in connection with the sale or reorganization of all or part of our business, as permitted by applicable law."

 

 

I can't help but wonder if the changes made over the course of the past year (CEO, move to Google Cloud, pricing, privacy policy, etc.) haven't all been leading up to a sale of the company.   This line certainly seems to indicate as much.   I would not be surprised if they announced a sale to Google or another major player sometime in the next 3-6 months.

Suffice it to say, the changes are disappointing, and Chris O'Neil's response seems like it was more about damage control than actually listening to the response from long-time paying customers.   I too purchased a premium subscription within a week or two of trying the free version back in 2009, and I too have watched it morph from a brilliant tool into a bloated app with lots of useless features (work chat, anyone?) that I would never use.    Granted, there are a lot of useful things that have been added to EN over the years as well, and I'm sure there will be more, but at what cost?

They broke the trust of their users.    That alone will surely make paying customers think twice about whether or not to continue paying, and it will certainly prevent educated consumers from signing up for a new subscription in the first place.

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20 hours ago, ogmios said:

.......OneNote is quite a good contender, so the switch won't be so difficult.

What makes you think Microsoft don't do the same thing with OneNote and scan notes for information?  Given Win10's cavalier approach to privacy I wouldn't trust MS any more than Evernote.  

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On 12/13/2016 at 7:06 PM, benmc said:

All

 

We appreciate the feedback and discussion regarding our recent changes to the Evernote privacy policy, and we wanted to expand and provide clarification on the topics raised.

 

Let's start with the most important point: Evernote fully respects your privacy. We know (because you’ve told us) that some of you store highly personal information in Evernote. We want to continue to offer you a place to store this information.

 

A number of you have expressed a concern that as a result of our upcoming Privacy Policy change, Evernote employees will be actively reading your notes. This is not the case. At all times we minimize the identifiable user data that Evernote employees can access; we minimize the number of employees who have such access; and we implement technical, administrative, and organizational controls over employee data access.

 

Our Privacy Policy has always stated that there may be situations in which Evernote employees can access your data, such as to determine if you have violated our Terms of Service. (See our Privacy Policy (under the section, “Information Access and Disclosure”).

 

The change we are making, effective in January, is to allow an additional, small group of engineers to have access to some note content in order to oversee machine learning development. In this use case, we also do the following to further protect your privacy:

 

De-Linking - We remove the identifying account information from any notes that we review as part of Machine Learning. This means we don’t know which account created a specific note.  

 

Aggregation - Where possible, we also aggregate note data so that we are seeing summaries of note data and not specific note content.

 

If you want the level of human access to your account to stay the same as it always has, you can opt out of the change we are making to our Privacy Policy (effective January 23) by going to your account settings and un-ticking the box where it says, “Allow Evernote to use my data to improve my experience.”

 

If you decide to opt-out, you won’t lose any existing Evernote service functionality, and we’ll continue to deliver as many new features to you as possible while respecting your opt-out. The only future features you may not be able to benefit from are those that require our ML technology to learn on your data in order to provide results relevant to you.

 

If you want to better understand how we are seeing the future, please read the following tech blog post (https://blog.evernote.com/tech/2016/11/15/unstructured-data-google-nlp/) which gives examples of how we could use Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing technologies in the future.

 
 

We hope this clarifies why we are making these changes and we are here to answer any more questions you have.

 

Regards

 

The Evernote Team

 
 

Hello,  I read your post thoroughly.   I wish to opt out, and I looked through the privacy policy for the box to check. But, I just didn't see exactly where it was located.  Cold you assist, please?  Thank You! 

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Just now, Gizmo99 said:

What makes you think Microsoft don't do the same thing with OneNote and scan notes for information?  Given Win10's cavalier approach to privacy I wouldn't trust MS any more than Evernote.  

I think if privacy is a concern with your notes, you probably need to find another alternative than the cloud.  However, at least MS hasn't explicitly stated their employees can (and will) read your notes.  Which of course may be worse than not stating it...

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2 hours ago, Dr Sly said:

First (and last) time poster, been using Evernote since the early days.

Well, I've stuck with Evernote even when the prices were raised, but this is too much.

I use machine learning on a weekly basis, FYI. Your arguments are extremely poor.

*USE YOUR OWN BUSINESS DATA INSTEAD OF YOUR CLIENTS' PRIVATE DATA*

Goodbye, Evernote. I'll use OneNote from now on, they even have a tool to import from your sorry app to their free one.

Trouble is @Dr Sly one of the reasons I haven't gone over to Onenote and stayed with Evernote is Microsoft's privacy policy. If it's on their server, it's theirs, and increasingly, if it's on a disk controlled by their OS, it's theirs.  The analogy describing this course of action would include frying pans and fires.  Probably the best suggestion I have seen is turtl (mentioned above by somebody) but it's just not workable for me.

My plan is this:

  1. Copy everything personal or sensitive to a personal notebook
  2. Delete all that from the online notebooks, then delete the online notebooks
  3. Continue with the backups of my PC to make sure I have copies, but also replicate the backup to a 2nd location (VPS with fully encrypted disk)
  4. Leave it all there locally and use the client when I need to, especially with my Scansnap to continue processing my paperwork
  5. Possibly continue with an online notebook for my web clippings (non sensitive)
  6. Stop paying

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3 minutes ago, TDHIII said:

I think if privacy is a concern with your notes, you probably need to find another alternative than the cloud.  However, at least MS hasn't explicitly stated their employees can (and will) read your notes.  Which of course may be worse than not stating it...

Agree and TBH I don't store anything of serious personal value in Evernote.  That's not to say I wouldn't miss it if it went astray.  

I'm with the others on here.  EN should be concentrating on things users want, improved UI and Desktop apps and above all, end-to-end encryption.  Even the ability to encrypt individual notebooks with EN holding the keys as an interim step would be better than what we have now.  This could be a marketing feature - "we believe your data is yours and take all necessary steps to protect it".  Clear and unambiguous.  

Given the connections with Google I can't help but wonder if this is paving the way for a sale to Google.  Aggregate all the information and Google grows yet more powerful.

Incidentally you can import EN data into DevonThink Pro.  http://www.devontechnologies.com/products/devonthink/overview.html  Overkill for most folks but it is a way out although you do mostly have to rely on DropBox or Box for sync purposes.  I think you can use WebDAV as well so you may be able to set up your own server using a Synology or QNAP NAS box.

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1 hour ago, jmagsho said:

I can't help but wonder if the changes made over the course of the past year (CEO, move to Google Cloud, pricing, privacy policy, etc.) haven't all been leading up to a sale of the company.

@jmagsho The press talked about the CEO's appointment preparation for IPO.  If Evernote wanted to it could make a big thing out of privacy and sell product on the back of that stance.  The one big company that doesn't machine read everything you upload, doesn't analyse to "surface" things (like ads) to you, and generally lacks interest in what you put there other than in keeping it safe.  And charge everybody for the privilege.

Trouble is, then it would be a nice little company giving a great service to a dedicated loyal user base, in return for a modest profit.  But they're not interested in that, and the people who put the money up to build the company aren't interested in that.  They want to float and to float they need to be able to say they have 50 million users and that one day they might actually make some money out of more than a small % of them.

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1 hour ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

WRT the above, and to @GrumpyMonkey:

and to @Byter68:

I understand the desire for absolute, encrypted privacy. But is Evernote really supposed to spend time futilely fighting U.S. government subpoenas? Or let people use it as a base from which to distribute porn or malicious attacks? Any company that has Terms of Service requires access to data to enforce them. The existing privacy policy was realistic in such regards, IMO. The revision was ill thought out, especially in making it opt-out rather than opt-in. But to say that our content was already vulnerable to unwarranted (in a couple of senses!) employee snooping, or to imply that our personal information will be attached to data that is used for the new machine-learning research, is just adding to the FUD, IMHO.

i am not an expert on porn, malicious attacks, or compliance with us government regulations. but, in my opinion, enabling customers to control the encryption keys to unlock their notes (zero-knowledge encryption) should not create an issue for evernote in this regard for a couple of reasons.

first, evernote already has zero-knowledge encryption, and this is merely an expansion of existing features from a text block to the notebook level. second, similar capabilities already exist in the market. microsoft, apple, and devonthink are competitors with such encryption. other cloud services such as spideroak and  lastpass have it. there is nothing new, or legally problematic here, as far as i can tell.

in short, evernote is choosing to maintain access to our note content for reasons they have never (as far as i know) shared-- there is no legal or technical necessity for it that i can see, or that evernote has claimed. 

the fact is that many of the largest hacks in history were facilitated by employee incompetence or malfeasance, and evernote is just as vulnerable as any other company to it. and, it has also been shown that anonymized data can also be de-anonymized. ithink many of the concerns about security and privacy expressed so far are legitimate.

 

 

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You say:

"Everything we do at Evernote follows these three basic rules:

Your Data is Yours
Your Data is Protected
Your Data is Portable"

Since OUR data is OURS, how about letting US dictate terms under which YOU can look at it. I agree with others about the vagueness of these future improvements you have alluded to, but let's give you the benefit of the doubt that we will actually want them. Since you can't be specific about how many employees will look at our data, and how much of our data will be looked at, and how often because your new terms were crafted by skilled lawyers that leaves you all kinds of wiggle room, naturally we are very uncomfortable with any kind of carte blanche access. If you want us to believe you still have our best interests at heart, and you want us to trust you when you say that a very small number of employees will be looking at random samples of our data, why not be fully transparent?

 

WE would be willing to grant YOU access to look at our data under the following conditions:

Every time one of our notes is viewed by one of your employees:

  1. the date, time, and employees full name is permanently logged in the note's Note Info metadata
  2. any attached files that are viewed are also logged as above
  3. a tag is added to the note, such as "#SKYNET", to make it easy for us to view all notes which have been viewed by you
  4. an email is sent to us to summarize the above actions that have occurred

 

We can then determine for ourselves individually whether sharing our private data with you is worth the "improved experience".

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Don't care at all for the potential of employees reading my notes nor for any help in understanding my own stuff.  Would prefer investment in development of encryption, editor, standardization across platforms and the like.  

However, I subscribe to the school of if you don't want someone to see it, don't put it on the web unprotected.  Local notebooks give me the power of EN search without the vulnerability of web storage.  Anything I might want on multiple platforms I encrypt.  So I don't like this new policy and I think EN could mis-communicate giving away free ice cream, but at the end of the day not much impact my EN usage.  Opt out.

Uber and Yahoo anyone?  :huh:

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29 minutes ago, AJRovster said:

Hello,  I read your post thoroughly.   I wish to opt out, and I looked through the privacy policy for the box to check. But, I just didn't see exactly where it was located.  Cold you assist, please?  Thank You! 

It's the line in your personal settings that says, "Improved Experience: Allow Evernote to use my data to improve my experience." Not at all obvious, and in fact looks like it was composed to discourage the poorly informed from opting out. After all, doesn't everyone want their experience improved? <_<

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It's obvious that Evernote doesn't care about paying customers who have been loyal through the years. Judging by their actions, privacy for them is of little concern it doesn't matter what their press realeses say!

I don't care if Mother Teresa was chosen to read my PRIVATE information. Probably Mother Teresa would not have accepted the job out of RESPECT to customers.

I wonder if Evernote's CEO would allow his employees to access his private notes! 

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I'm very very sorry, but the new privacy statement (as well as all the FAQ Updates regarding) is far far FAR to vague. Sure, there are examples given... but these make me even more frustrated with how Evernote Corp handles the issue. Just to give any worst-case scenario as an example is not enough to illustrate the boundaries of what it means to access my private data "in order to keep the service running and/or improve it". I can pretty much imagine that every single employee working with Evernote Corp is dedicated to keep either Evernote running smoothly or improving it. It does not help in any way that Evernote is obviously shy of stating exact numbers when it comes to how may employees are granted access. Neither is any information provided wether or not I will ever be informed about it.

I do agree that for most of the reasons given the vast amount of data in the employees notebooks will be sufficient. Why not use that one? To sensible information? So how should I trust the people Evernote does not trust?

I do work with highly sensible date of refugees, some of it is in PDF Format, hence can not be encoded, yet. (Some of it has been encrypted using theird party apps. However: I simply won't be able to check 2500+ Documents in my account, export some, encrypt, reimport...)

I am pretty sure that in continuing your service and hence provide a third party with the opportunity to inspect this data is violating laws here in germany. If Data Security is not altered in an appropriate way or the opportunity is given to encrypt multiple notes at once (preferably whole notebooks) ... I won't be able to remain a customer. This hurts me as I've been using Evernote since 2009 and just paid for another year of premium. Will that be refunded at least? 

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Look, you guys need to make money and an amazing product, fine -- I just need a cross-platform note taking app. Could you maybe fork Evernote so I get your product from, like, four years ago instead of all the fancy cloud stuff?

I've been using Evernote since 2008. Have run my business on it. It has served me in my career. I hold the brand up as one I'd love to work for. Unless you announce some new measures to protect the contents of our notes from everyone, I'm out.

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Good afternoon.  I joined Evernote on January 4th, 2012 and shortly thereafter I became a Premium user and have been very happy with your service.  I've recommended your product to family and colleagues and I use it every day.  I've given talks at workshops on how I use Evernote to manage projects and how it has allowed me to go paperless.  I even bought the Evernote Edition Scansnap Scanner.  In short, I am a big fan and I am very sad that I have to leave now.

I've read the news reports and your press releases about allowing your employees to access your customer's notes.  We've heard that Yahoo has had over 1 billion accounts compromised.  The CIA has reported that Russia may have engineered a hack of the US Election.  I can't tell you how many free years of credit monitoring I have due to hacks to companies like Target and Home Depot.  It's a dangerous world out there and the reality is that if it is possible for an employee to read my notes then it is possible for an attacker too.  You should be talking about how you will be protecting your user's privacy with things like two-factor authentication (I have it enabled and love it) and zero knowledge encryption instead of exposing your users to unnecessary risk.

You absolutely should be able to improve your products, protect your company from abuse, and comply with the law.  This is the current privacy policy from Evernote and I have no problem with it whatsoever:
https://evernote.com/legal/privacy.php

This is the new privacy policy that I have an issue with:
https://evernote.com/legal/privacy.php?2017-update

Specifically the line under the section Do Evernote Employees Access or Review My Data?
"We need to do so for troubleshooting purposes or to maintain and improve the Service;"  

When is a company not maintaining or improving the service?  Isn't that a core component to any job anywhere?  There is a button to opt out of machine learning (which I have no interest in) but not to opt out of the new privacy policy.  Evernote is my digital filing cabinet.  It is lists of gift ideas for my wife.  Scans of my son's coloring.  A short video of him crawling.  My notes from staff meetings.  Budgets to save for a new house.  My performance reviews and evaluations.  A little story I wrote on the train.  All safe and boring to the outside world but its personal, and private, and mine.  I wouldn't share it with a friend let alone a stranger.

I hope you will reconsider.  I've started migrating my notes into OneNote.  I know it is an inferior product to Evernote but it will have to do if this is the course your company is now going in.  Sadly I won't be with you for it.  It was a good 5 years.

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2 hours ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:


@GrumpyMonkey

@Byter68

I understand the desire for absolute, encrypted privacy. But is Evernote really supposed to spend time futilely fighting U.S. government subpoenas?

If the data was encrypted, Evernote wouldn't need to fight government subpoenas. They could legitimately state that the data is encrypted and they don't have access to it. This is how other tech companies including Apple handle it. By having access to unencrypted files you will open yourself up to even more subpoenas.

While we are talking about laws, what about EU data protection laws? I have a right to have my account completely deleted and all my data deleted, yet Evernote only allow me to deactivate my account. The official guide says to deactivate your account then contact Evernote to request deletion, but you can't open up a support ticket with a deactivated account and there's no email address to contact them. It makes it impossible to delete your data, which is a violation of privacy laws across the EU.

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If Evernote would implement whole notebook encryption this might not bother me as much. It's like the company is oblivious to customer privacy concerns and is still operating like it's the dot.com era

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1 hour ago, huladaddy said:

You say:

"Everything we do at Evernote follows these three basic rules:

Your Data is Yours
Your Data is Protected
Your Data is Portable"

Since OUR data is OURS, how about letting US dictate terms under which YOU can look at it. I agree with others about the vagueness of these future improvements you have alluded to, but let's give you the benefit of the doubt that we will actually want them. Since you can't be specific about how many employees will look at our data, and how much of our data will be looked at, and how often because your new terms were crafted by skilled lawyers that leaves you all kinds of wiggle room, naturally we are very uncomfortable with any kind of carte blanche access. If you want us to believe you still have our best interests at heart, and you want us to trust you when you say that a very small number of employees will be looking at random samples of our data, why not be fully transparent?

 

WE would be willing to grant YOU access to look at our data under the following conditions:

Every time one of our notes is viewed by one of your employees:

  1. the date, time, and employees full name is permanently logged in the note's Note Info metadata
  2. any attached files that are viewed are also logged as above
  3. a tag is added to the note, such as "#SKYNET", to make it easy for us to view all notes which have been viewed by you
  4. an email is sent to us to summarize the above actions that have occurred

 

We can then determine for ourselves individually whether sharing our private data with you is worth the "improved experience".

Beautiful. Way to throw their corporate canned lawyer speak back in their faces. I used to love Evernote. Green is my favorite color... but now I don't associate them with my favorite color anymore...a natural green. The type of green I see all over Evernote now is $$$$$. 

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Goodbye Evernote- I will be ending my account immediatly. I can't believe your new "privacy policy". What's so private about having other people go through whats supposed to be private?

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I think people are missing the bigger picture here and EN needs to probably go a little more in depth on the data collection part.

* Machine learning is the next phase in computers and the internet. AI startups and even big businesses are throwing resources behind AI to make user experience much better. I applaud the direction EN is going in making our notes and lives more organized. People don't realize if you're a company that hosts and serves data, if AI isn't on your roadmap, you're going to fall behind the other companies already using it.

* The critics calling this an invasion of privacy need to realize there are two methods of AI machine learning. The Apple way and the Google way. Apple is anonymizing (sort of) the data you feed them through Siri and other iCloud services. The tradeoff is that Apple can't really build a profile on you and make suggestions on your personal life, media, etc. The Google route scans everything you put into it and builds a better understanding of who you are and can give you more accurate results. The tradeoff is that Google sees everything and the trust is that they aren't sharing it with any government agencies. Which leads me to my last point on a suggestion for Evernote.

* Be up front about your privacy policy and will the data in your AI project be shared with outside parties (businesses? government agencies? police agencies?) if asked? Ensure users know that access is limited to only those with the right permissions and nobody outside of that group can see the data. Detail security process and make it reassuring to users this point. 

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This is just not right. I do get the point you are making about "some people can see your notes," however, I think its finally time for me to make the move to OneNote. :( 

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It stinks and I saw it coming. Being a member since more than 6 years now, I organized all my life since then in Evernote. I need to trust a service or I can't rely on it. Decisions made by Evernote in the past 3 years and upcoming abuse of my (very) personal data is not worth my premium subscription anymore. 

How can you possibly make such a horrbile decision that hurts your very own business that much? Unbelievable. I'm moving on, goodbye Elephant brain.

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Unless I am missing something, we will no longer be able to use evernote on projects that involve NDAs. Which I imagine renders the service useless for a large swath of users, or puts hem at legal risk. What am I missing?

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This will be buried--but, Im out.  and it sucks because I like Evernote a lot and was just about to upgrade.  there is no way you can be sure that your data isnt being looked at even if you opt-out.  Vague wording means either incompetence in communication or intentional obfuscation.  in this case i find it hard to believe there would be incompetence so...draw your own conclusions.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it true that Evernote has had the policy that your notes could be looked at by a small number of Evernote employees for a while, at least for purposes of maintenance and legal cause? Was that a recent change, or something older? I seem to recall reading that, but I don't have copies of their privacy stuff from earlier than late this summer. We've known know that they store note content unencrypted on their servers, so it seems a logical possibility. I just can't remember whether it was explicitly stated or not.

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my memory is that they have had access from the start -- customer service, after all, had to go in there sometimes (at our request), and they have legal obligations as well.

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6 hours ago, TDHIII said:

It was a very smooth ride for me.

Same for me. 

That said, Evernote is, overall, a superior product to OneNote, primarily in the areas of organization (tagging) and analysis (far better ability to use the results of a search for further analysis and drill-down).

But Evernote has reneged on its past service terms and it is now escalating that behavior with infringement on basic privacy. 

I'm happy to sacrifice features when the company providing them proves it can't be trusted.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

my memory is that they have had access from the start -- customer service, after all, had to go in there sometimes (at our request), and they have legal obligations as well.

All situations where we are generally actively aware of their access to our data. If you are contacting customer service, and they say they need access to a note, you can decline and say no, I'd rather not have you read the contents of that note. They might not be able to assist you with your issue, of course, but you still had control and you were aware at the moment of who was in your notes, when.

If they receive a warrant or subpoena, this is an action taken through the legal system. Most companies that flout a stringent privacy policy even state they'll fight any government or police request unless they receive notice from a judge (a warrant/subpeona) that they must hand it over. Then, unless given a gag order, they are generally nice enough to forward to warrant on to you as the consumer. Again, a situation where you can become aware of who did it when and where. 

All other times, Evernote claims that our data is our data. They say we own it. They say Evernote does not own it. They say Google and their cloud server Evernote is on does not own it. 

Ok, since I own it, then I want control and SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE as to what parts of my data are being reviewed and access, and I want to OPT-IN, not OUT by default. Generally, if you own something, someone has to ask you permission to use it. If you are automatically opted in, that's not asking permission. That's inviting yourself, and that's just proving that Chris's and Evernotes words are corporate political legal barely honest mumbo jumbo B.S. used to distract you from the point.

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13 minutes ago, jefito said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it true that Evernote has had the policy that your notes could be looked at by a small number of Evernote employees for a while, at least for purposes of maintenance and legal cause? ...

I don't know the specifics, but I always assumed so.

If I want data to be kept secure, I encrypted it.

Actually, Evernote Staff are the least of my concern - I'm thinking more of hackers, govt agencies, and people getting access to my computer.

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9 minutes ago, jefito said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it true that Evernote has had the policy that your notes could be looked at by a small number of Evernote employees for a while, at least for purposes of maintenance and legal cause? Was that a recent change, or something older? I seem to recall reading that, but I don't have copies of their privacy stuff from earlier than late this summer. We've known know that they store note content unencrypted on their servers, so it seems a logical possibility. I just can't remember whether it was explicitly stated or not.

They have always had this access Jeff - but my understanding is that it would only be used for legal reasons or maybe for support.

Now it seems that they will be accessing notes without our explicit permission and without law enforcement breathing down their necks. That's different. We also don't know the who or when or why for this access. That's very different.

Plus, they are just such clowns, it actually makes me angry that they are so bad at doing stuff. They were bad before and seem to have got worse, it embarrasses me as I've been an advocate of their service for so long. I certainly can't be an advocate anymore.

I know Grumps is a big DevonFan - I'll be taking a look this weekend.

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Can't believe I'm actually going to chime in here.... its just going to get drowned out, but I'm going to do it bullet point format hoping it helps someone.

  • Yes, this "privacy" policy sucks. It really isn't much of a privacy policy - You just might have to "deal" with this or leave
  • EN Talks about privacy being so important.. then how come we can't encrypt our notebooks?
  • IF EN can do AI, it can certainly create notebook level encryption. They just choose not to and there's a reason for this (ex Googler is EN CEO where privacy is flexible)
  • EN is clearly moving towards a google model: Collect all the data they can and then find a way to sell ads for revenue
  • Recommendation if you don't like this: 1) Move your notes to a Local Notebook and keep the essential note taking in "the cloud" so you can transfer around 2) Opt out of the user experience option 3) Leave EN. Nothing talks to a company like $. If you're a free customer, you really have nothing to complain about. We have all sold our privacy for free (Ex: Google Search, Google Drive, Google Apps, Google Maps, Mac OS X, Windows 10, Apple IOS, Android, etc... - Free is not free).
  • This is not very different from DropBox, Google Drive, Etc... They are searching everything. Have you ever tried to copy an encrypted file into Google Drive? Good luck, it won't work... there's a reason for that.

EN: You are going to loose this battle. People are going to leave more than you think they will. I used to be a strategist at Apple for many years and have seen this played out over and over. You are going to use AI to "recommend" services to your users in exchange for $$ on the back side. This is fine, but you are not Google. Google search users don't store stuff, EN users do. You will loose this. Recommendation: Free users get AI based ads and premium users don't and thus, automagically opt-out of the user experience thing. Finally, you need to re-build people's trust. Just turn on an option to encrypt a notebook for premium customers. This is just negligent towards your customers.

 

OK people, as a whole, you must understand this: Your privacy? It left a very long time ago. EN is just late to this. If you use Android, they can predict your behavior better than you. If you use Windows, Cortana is always searching your stuff. It goes on and on. Our privacy ends the moment you use anything digital. Its pretty upsetting, but its the cost of being digital.

Good luck finding your comfort zone.

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4 minutes ago, wphall said:

Can't believe I'm actually going to chime in here.... its just going to get drowned out, but I'm going to do it bullet point format hoping it helps someone.

  • Yes, this "privacy" policy sucks. It really isn't much of a privacy policy - You just might have to "deal" with this or leave
  • EN Talks about privacy being so important.. then how come we can't encrypt our notebooks?
  • IF EN can do AI, it can certainly create notebook level encryption. They just choose not to and there's a reason for this (ex Googler is EN CEO where privacy is flexible)
  • EN is clearly moving towards a google model: Collect all the data they can and then find a way to sell ads for revenue
  • Recommendation if you don't like this: 1) Move your notes to a Local Notebook and keep the essential note taking in "the cloud" so you can transfer around 2) Opt out of the user experience option 3) Leave EN. Nothing talks to a company like $. If you're a free customer, you really have nothing to complain about. We have all sold our privacy for free (Ex: Google Search, Google Drive, Google Apps, Google Maps, Mac OS X, Windows 10, Apple IOS, Android, etc... - Free is not free).
  • This is not very different from DropBox, Google Drive, Etc... They are searching everything. Have you ever tried to copy an encrypted file into Google Drive? Good luck, it won't work... there's a reason for that.

EN: You are going to loose this battle. People are going to leave more than you think they will. I used to be a strategist at Apple for many years and have seen this played out over and over. You are going to use AI to "recommend" services to your users in exchange for $$ on the back side. This is fine, but you are not Google. Google search users don't store stuff, EN users do. You will loose this. Recommendation: Free users get AI based ads and premium users don't and thus, automagically opt-out of the user experience thing. Finally, you need to re-build people's trust. Just turn on an option to encrypt a notebook for premium customers. This is just negligent towards your customers.

 

OK people, as a whole, you must understand this: Your privacy? It left a very long time ago. EN is just late to this. If you use Android, they can predict your behavior better than you. If you use Windows, Cortana is always searching your stuff. It goes on and on. Our privacy ends the moment you use anything digital. Its pretty upsetting, but its the cost of being digital.

Good luck finding your comfort zone.

Or you could support an alternative that has already hit the ground running with this and will only get better if more Evernote users migrate and support:

https://turtlapp.com

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2 minutes ago, robmullinsonline@gmail.com said:

Good-Bye Evernote!!!  Your privacy policy stinks.

I've moved all my Evernote notebooks over to OneNote.

The OneNote Import tool made it very easy.

Not sure why you use gmail then? This makes no sense to me. Its ok for Google to read all your email, but not Evernote. Just want to understand why. Also, as an FYI... you're publishing your email address to the world here. 

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22 minutes ago, wphall said:

Recommendation if you don't like this:
1) Move your notes to a Local Notebook and keep the essential note taking in "the cloud" so you can transfer around
2) Opt out of the user experience option
3) Leave EN

4) Encypt your data

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3 minutes ago, Machine_Learning said:

Or you could support an alternative that has already hit the ground running

I like the features of the app,  But while people here are trashing Evernote because they don't trust that their data will be anonymized and only visible to a few trusted employees,  Turtl is equally vague about pricing...  (I didn't spend too much time delving)

Quote

The Turtl service is free and in most cases should work for most users. However, begining soon, Turtl will launch a Premium service that will include more storage and will unlock various features in the Turtl apps.

- That's my emphasis.

So it's free for now,  but when you start using the service seriously,  and have committed fully to using it,  you'll find out how much it will cost.  Not cool.  And suppose I want to extract my information so I can move it elsewhere if I find the cost too much?  Any exit options?  At all?

Despite some serious reservations about where Evernote is going - after an opt-out for my data,  I'm going to stick with Evernote for a while. 

I've been in the industry for a long time - I still remember my early days in a contact centre dealing with tech support and on one occasion reading someone's email to them because their PC had crashed.  Passwords,  email content,  web pages - everything was pretty much open to anyone in tech support.  (I'd better stress this was before the Data Protection Act was ever thought of in the UK)

Even so,  the management kept strict tabs on who was looking at what,  and the manic incoming call rate meant no-one had the time to misbehave anyway.  You'll be relieved to hear that we're living in a far more secure environment these days as far as personal data is concerned.  I'm told.

I still work on the basis though that if I save something online,  someone,  somewhere,  with or without my permission could have access.  Ultimately if I can still see something if and when I choose,  then despite any protections or encryptions,  someone else can do the same by pretending to be me.

I think Evernote are trying to be upfront about the changes to their terms,  which AFAICS are pretty minor.  Rather than a small number of employees being trusted to look at customer data (which has always been the case),  they're having to include a small number of Googlers who are helping manage the systems.  They'll also be looking more frequently at anonymized information in process of making sure their Skynet system isn't plotting some sort of takeover.  It's really not a big deal. 

Like some other commenters here I'm mainly concerned that Evernote is now chasing a rainbow that will distract them from fixing the many things that are still wrong with the system.  I have zero interest in software that 'helps' me by making choices or decisions on my behalf.  I would appreciate having still faster responses from the desktop apps,  and full parity of features (as far as is technically possible) between desktop,  mobile and web applications.

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Just now, gazumped said:

I like the features of the app,  But while people here are trashing Evernote because they don't trust that their data will be anonymized and only visible to a few trusted employees,  Turtl is equally vague about pricing...  (I didn't spend too much time delving)

- That's my emphasis.

So it's free for now,  but when you start using the service seriously,  and have committed fully to using it,  you'll find out how much it will cost.  Not cool.  And suppose I want to extract my information so I can move it elsewhere if I find the cost too much?  Any exit options?  At all?

Despite some serious reservations about where Evernote is going - after an opt-out for my data,  I'm going to stick with Evernote for a while. 

I've been in the industry for a long time - I still remember my early days in a contact centre dealing with tech support and on one occasion reading someone's email to them because their PC had crashed.  Passwords,  email content,  web pages - everything was pretty much open to anyone in tech support.  (I'd better stress this was before the Data Protection Act was ever thought of in the UK)

Even so,  the management kept strict tabs on who was looking at what,  and the manic incoming call rate meant no-one had the time to misbehave anyway.  You'll be relieved to hear that we're living in a far more secure environment these days as far as personal data is concerned.  I'm told.

I still work on the basis though that if I save something online,  someone,  somewhere,  with or without my permission could have access.  Ultimately if I can still see something if and when I choose,  then despite any protections or encryptions,  someone else can do the same by pretending to be me.

I think Evernote are trying to be upfront about the changes to their terms,  which AFAICS are pretty minor.  Rather than a small number of employees being trusted to look at customer data (which has always been the case),  they're having to include a small number of Googlers who are helping manage the systems.  They'll also be looking more frequently at anonymized information in process of making sure their Skynet system isn't plotting some sort of takeover.  It's really not a big deal. 

Like some other commenters here I'm mainly concerned that Evernote is now chasing a rainbow that will distract them from fixing the many things that are still wrong with the system.  I have zero interest in software that 'helps' me by making choices or decisions on my behalf.  I would appreciate having still faster responses from the desktop apps,  and full parity of features (as far as is technically possible) between desktop,  mobile and web applications.

I'm just happy to see some people out there who are trying to achieve total privacy and total encryption. And I would be glad to pay them for it, because they are being totally upfront about the fact that they will start charging. If it's truly encrypted, and they promise they won't mine my data for any reason, they've earned my $100.00 a year. They'll need it. 

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1 minute ago, Machine_Learning said:

they've earned my $100.00 a year

Inside information?  Or blind faith at this point?  It could be $25/ month...

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19 minutes ago, Machine_Learning said:

I believe Turtl to be the best answer:

  • Encrypted Notebooks
    • EN -- no
  • Open Source
    • EN -- no
  • Apps for Mac, Windows and Linux
    • EN -- no
  • Can Host server on own machine
    • EN -- no

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11 minutes ago, gazumped said:

Inside information?  Or blind faith at this point?  It could be $25/ month...

If you are so worried about price, host your own server for free.

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1 minute ago, gazumped said:

Inside information?  Or blind faith at this point?  It could be $25/ month...

Complete 100% blind faith exacerbated by my completely sterile empathy free legalistic professional interaction with Evernote Customer Service this morning about the situation. I wanted a refund. I'm about 10 weeks into the service. Missed the window by 2 weeks. Wanted to just walk away from it and go find something else and ignore it. But they want to keep my money for the 9+ months I had remaining after I cancelled. They won't bend their own rules, and I can see I'm not the only person frustrated or upset. This also ties into some things that have been sticking in my mind.. these erosions of rights and privacy that has been happening over the last decade and a half... and that it's just the way the world works and if you don't like it, tough. True privacy is a luxury now, a person is apparently now just the sum of their metadata.... it's frustrating that the only note taking app that offered ok encryption is now going in the direction of exposing our data to in the name of profit.Profits twists and bends values and morals. Comfortable bank accounts and loose ethics make it easier for Melanie, a programer/scientist at Evernote to accidentally stumble across part of a note by Bob Smith, Evernote user, where he documented information about his first romantic experience with his best friend Joseph at the age of 19...it's completely romantic and deeply nostalgic. She can tell that Bob was madly in love with Joseph..... Melanie reads the information and develops, for whatever reason, a curiosity about Bob Smith and his friend Joseph.... she knows she shouldn't... sigh..but she does anyway. She looks Bob up on Facebook and finds his account. He's a sharp dresser and has a warm smile. She looks through his friend list but doesn't find a Joseph.... she goes back to Bob's notes and digs up more information on Joseph and find enough information to locate Joseph Miller on facebook as well. 

It's February 12th, the fallout of all of this took it's toll on Evernote... who knows.. maybe a positive story would help the fact that they read a users data.

So she does it. She messages Joesph and tells him about what she read and about how much Bob was in love with him and it was so heartwarming. Joseph seems a little confused, and she pushed him to contact Bob and he agrees. She links him Bob's Facebook profile to help him locate it. 

She then walks away and wipes her hands of it, thinking down the road she might look it up again and possibly point it out to others at the company that she played cupid and connect 2 lovers again lost to time. She goes home and completely forgets about the interaction after her brain is filled from other stimulus coming from her cell phone, computer and telivision.



Oh, and a few days later someone walks by a newspaper with a headline

Man, 67, Dead In Apparant Murder Suicide

It was revealed today that the men involved in Monday's murder suicide knew each other as young men, and that one of the men killed the other out of a panicked anger..etc..etc..etc..

 

Yeah I know. It's extreme. But I'd just rather know my data's encrypted. Guess I'm a ***** for hoping for that in the cloud. 


 

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Here's an idea: Why don't you ONLY SPOT CHECK EVERNOTE EMPLOYEE'S ACCOUNTS? There are plenty of employees and they all must use Evernote. Limit all spot checking EXCLUSIVELY to employee accounts and stay out of CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS.

If you spot check the 300 +/- employee note books and find big problems or no problems, that's a good enough sample size to make a go/no go decision. If it's not, your AI might need a little more "I".

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I will keep this post very short.

I will not be renewing my premium subscription in February nor will I be using your basic free version because of your new policy to allow certain employees of Evernote to read any customer's files. 

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I think we'd be better off sticking to the facts with this, and avoid engaging in speculation, because this is pretty serious stuff -- there are real-life employees at Evernote doing their best to create a great experience for us while making their company a success. And, there are real-life users who are concerned about their privacy.

1. Can Evernote employees access our notes? Yes. This has been the case since the very beginning of the service (if my memory is correct). 

2. Is privacy / anonymity / security impossible? No. It takes a little bit of work, but I don't think so (based on what experts say). If you follow some basic guidelines, you can avoid a lot of headaches. (a) Use long, random, regularly changed passwords. (b) Don't use Siri, Cortana, Now, Echo, or any other "assistant." (c) Use a VPN whenever you are in a dodgy environment outside of home / work. Or, use it all the time if you are uncomfortable sharing your location / identity. (d) Encrypt any sensitive data you have -- encrypt your hard drive, and encrypt the data before putting it onto someone else's hard drive ("the cloud"). Fortunately, there are several commercially available alternatives to Evernote (mentioned many times here and elsewhere) if the encryption Evernote offers (snippets of text) is insufficient for your needs. 

I am not surprised that Evernote is unwilling to offer refunds on the remaining months in a subscription. They are under no legal obligation to do so, as far as I know. You can ask, of course, but the decision is up to them. 

This decision by Evernote to spot-check stuff is considerably more cautious than what Google does every day mining the data of over a billion users. As noted in #1, it is an expansion of a policy that already exists. I am strongly opposed to the new policy, the old one, and the way Evernote is going about all of this (are we going to have to keep on top of things so that we can opt-out anytime Evernote decides to pull shenanigans like this?). But, I would say it is more a difference of opinion about what Evernote ought to be -- our visions don't match. I want a private, secure, reliable second brain / external brain. Evernote wants... something else. I'm not sure, but it has something to do with to-do lists and travel itineraries, which are not things I am willing to trade my privacy / security for, even if they are brilliantly automated.

Personally, I am a paying user because I am still hoping that Evernote will either convince me that their vision for my Evernote experience is a better one, or re-evaluate their service and realize that their is a valuable market out their for people who want the kind of second brain I mentioned above (Evernote's original vision). 

 

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48 minutes ago, Machine_Learning said:

But I'd just rather know my data's encrypted. Guess I'm a ***** for hoping for that in the cloud. 

It's a good idea to encrypt your private data if you're storing it in the cloud.

Evernote has a text encryption feature

and there are third party products -  I use encrypted PDFs and there's Saferoom

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Even an anonymized review of intellectual property is harmful!

Evernote's CEO fails to grasp the reality that many of us have:

  • proprietary ideas
  • trademarks
  • other intellectual property

that, even with user anonymization, would be violated if anyone beside the content creator were to view it without express permission from the creator or a warrant.

Even a hand-picked and vetted Evernote employee can't simply forget a novel and engaging idea, phrase, invention, or logo should they come across it.  What if they accidentally disclose an idea that they came across in their "anonymized data" but late forget the source and then post it on social media (perhaps even thinking innocently it was their own idea to begin with!).  This doesn't make them evil, just human.  No user data should be viewed by anyone without user permission or a warrant.  Period.

Is Evernote and all of its employees going to abide by the NDR I would normally expect others to sign before viewing my intellectual property?

Ridiculous, unnecessary, and bad business.

I will be preparing to leave Evernote until this policy is changed and employee access (sans a warrant, of course) to my content is revoked (or I am given the option to opt-out of said employee access).

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From a fellow Silicon Valley company:

The reason people pay for Evernote is to have a vault for their data, which is unique and very personal to them. From tax info, to credit card info, to passwords, to medical documents, Evernote serves to be a person's diary, an inventor's patent journal, a lyricist's log, a coder's repository, a journalist's research bin, a scientist's experiment account, a business' meeting minutes. Many of us rely on you, Evernote. Please speak to upper management and be the force to make the revisions required to help us trust you again. JUST DO GOOD BUSINESS! IT'S EASY =D It is disconcerting to realize we didn't in fact possess an end-to-end encryption here, many of us in the valley across companies are preparing to abandon your service to protect future data, although we acknowledge it wouldn't make a difference on preexisting data, as your "Privacy" Policy clearly outlines it will retain **residual** data [backups] for up to one year, sell our data (to the furthest extent law permits, who is watching?) if you are acquired, or review our data for uncertain maintenance or ToS violations.

Choose a win-win path. Undo the liquidate user-data as an asset clause. Rewind on the method of data acquisition for ML training. Reboot the program and offer incentive to opt-in. Let us wrap whole notebooks in encryption and throw away the keys. Insert into the Privacy Policy that you will notify users by email or in-app notification that your agents have accessed which data, and when. Let the users feel safe and private again. Now is the time to turn up your compassion, bow to the customer, and make them smile again.

Let them know you really listen, hear the complaints AND fix them, it is 2017!

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Myself, after reading with shock and real anger about the abominably silly ideas by Evernote's masterminds, decided to shift my personal documents to Dropboxes 1TB store service asap. Dropbox conditions meet European standards of privacy including encryption. 

Upload is a dolly, so is synchro. Storage in folders, subfolders as done all over the world.  And hey, what is office software good for? Datasheets spring to mind. Reliable, easily searchable without a single scanner poking at contents. 

Evernote will continue to have me as a free client and can certainly make use of my not worth a penny stuff for supercharged machinery or select members of staff. But the documents that I had hoped to be in a safe place with them will move. 

It's not funny, no, it is sad to see business managers wanting nothing more than cash, cash, and more cash. Selling the soul of the business that's what's happening to the Elephant. 

What is better user experience or service than safeguarding the client's privacy?  Evernote host private data and not just shopping lists or cooking recipes.

Only very naive minds will continue to have trust in the integrity of that business. All data hosting services have to oblige legislation. All of us know how hackers and criminals of every imaginable kind are threatening us left, right and centre. So it is quite possible for anybody's account to be checked routinely or randomly for unwanted content. But never ever for enhancing our "user experience". 

What a nightmare, pls let me wake up to normalcy.

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As a pastor and EVERNOTE premium user, I have placed many confidential notes, meeting agendas, personal items, etc. in Evernote for "safe" storage and retrieval. It would be unethical now for me to knowingly place information in a format where others can/will view it. There is no system that is 100% safe (even paper and files), but when Evernote states that this will be happening (even on a limited basis), I simply cannot accept it.

I'm willing to wait until January 1 to see if the company decides not to go forward with this decision. Afterward, I will remove all data, shut the premium account down, and determine a new and safer storage method for my files, notes, articles, pictures, and everything else.

I'm sorely disappointed in such a thoughtless, careless decision, that will no doubt have a devasting impact on the company. Very sad/troubling. 

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XShift has already articulated the problem better than I. So Dear: Evernote another nail in the coffin. I'm sad, disappointed and looking harder at the options to replace. Its too bad. I'm one of your earliest users and you will probably finish killing product for me soon.

 

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12 minutes ago, JohnLongney said:

It's not funny, no, it is sad to see business managers wanting nothing more than cash, cash, and more cash. Selling the soul of the business that's what's happening to the Elephant.

I follow what you're saying, and sympathize--except for this bit. Evernote has not suggested in any way, shape, or form that the machine learning venture will have anything to do with revenue. They have said explicitly that they are not and will not be using our data to craft ads or other revenue-producing materials.

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I just wonder Evernote just rewrote the note editor in iOS client, while they HESITATE TO REWRITE THE WHOLE APPS by adding undo in iPhone client, adding links function (with text), merging notes like in Mac, introducing a new UI to improve smoother workflow etc. If you say PRODUCTIVITY!

Bear Writer, the new note app, said clearly that they have their servers in Apple CloudKit with encryption of every note as default, aiming at the situation that 'we don’t want to be able to access your data at all'. How about Evernote?

I know that some other companies like Townske and Squarespace can access my content which has not been open to the public. For Townske, my draft is just about the travel guide which will be public one day. For Squarespace, they just access my account when I face technological problem, and they say they have a track record about the staff.

For the past few years, Evernote did ask us and even encourage us to put all our personal staff like receipts with their own names, with their scanner camera. Now you said you allow staff to read my notes. The bigger problem is that we can be seen without knowing, and we can't be notified, and most importantly we can't require the company for the record.

The company just keeps asking us to give them: First of all, more money by increasing the price; second, the information. While we never get more from the company, new features and transparency. They say we will be benefitted but they always lie us!

How about if Evernote greatly improves their apps? At least by fixing PDF annotation in Mac v6.10? Launching v8.0 in iOS? Before updating privacy policies? Maybe a bit better but still going wrong.

I suspect that the current CEO will sell, or merge Evernote to/with Google one day. They are preparing now!

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We’ve heard your comments and we are not making the changes to our privacy policy that we’d previously announced. Over the coming months, we will be revising our existing privacy policy to reaffirm this commitment. See our latest blog post for more info.

Let us know what you think below in the new discussion, linked from our blog post here: 

 

 

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