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I am a "premium" user, which means I pay to use Evernote. I suddenly realized Evernote is running analytics on its pages, which makes me wonder how much of my behavior on the site is recorded and fed into the Algorithm. I realize Google and others made the internet "free" (as in "free to rock the chain") by taking personal information, instead of money, in return for their products. I am not sure I feel OK both paying in money AND information, though.

Can one opt out of the analytics?

Cheers,

Tomas from Sweden

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Hi.  Evernote have said somewhere (can't find the reference atm) that the analytics they're using are for design and planning purposes,  and that personal details are not used for targeting ads or any other commercial purposes.  They have a very strong commitment to privacy and the last discussion about that I can find was here - https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2017/06/08/privacy-policy-update/

There was also some talk of analytics here -

We're a (mostly) user-supported forum,  so you'd need to talk to Evernote to get anything official or more detailed on the subject.  The discussion above points to an opt-out tool that I've used to limit the information provided from my browser(s) which may help.

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Thank you so much gazumped!

Thanks especially for the link to the discussion started by Oliver_ENf2013!!

I will admit I did only the usual eye-through of Evernote's privacy policy. (Like most I was impressed by the "we have your back" marketing mumbo jumbo, so I did not pay too much attention.) Now I dug deeper, and it turns out of course I am paying with both money and private data. Now I have to find the time to migrate my data, before cancelling my subscription. There was a time when such sleights-of-hand would be considered fraudulent, but now of course the vast majority couldn't care less.

O tempora o mores.

Cheers!

 

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3 hours ago, TomasSweden said:

it turns out of course I am paying with both money and private data.

Er,  you're welcome,  but I thought Evernote confirmed they did not use private data for anything other than for anonymised in-house account management.  Maybe I should read those links again... 

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when i load Evernote, Ghostery tells me that they've got Google Analytics and Tealium trackers running (this is on the old (some would say functional) web app).

I remember from a previous thread that they are using HotJar on the website to track user journeys.

I'm not seeing anything to be particularly concerned about - if you are worried about the trackers you can always block them with Ghostery or something similar.

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Thanks again!

@gazumped

Yes, Evernote's own usage of info gathered is of course OK, as long as it is used to improve the service as you say. 

Problem is they're bringing in third party services to do it, whose business model is to collect all info they can and then find ways to capitalize on it.

This is OK (actually not, but let's say so for the sake of argument) when the services provided are free of charge, but not inside a paid service, and especially not in a paid service that boasts about keeping your private data private. Services like these should keep far away from the Algorithm-feeders.

@Metrodon

Sure I can block them (and I do as far as I can tell) but I shouldn't need to worry about these things when I pay for the service. Running org-mode with encrypted files in cloud storage started to look as the best option again. 

Cheers,

Tomas

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Hmmn.  AFAIK third-party services aren't 'brought in' on Evernote with any better access to your data than they would get from your use of their individual features.  IFTTT and all the others need access to the database in order to process notes subject to your requirements,  but (again) AFAIK they touch only the notes they process,  and deal with dates and URLs rather than any juicy personal details.

We all have to take whatever precautions we feel are necessary however,  so good luck with your encrypted storage!

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Sorry, @gazumped, I realize I was not clear. There are a couple of things missing here which would enable you to more clearly see where I am at.

Since I use Linux only, and Evernote has no dedicated Linux client, and the open source one is not up to par, I have to use the "web app". Which means analytics. For me, Evernote's appeal also had a lot to do with the Web Clipper, so again -- nothing in Evernote's privacy policy prevents them from integrating third-party analytics communication in the add-on (didn't investigate this, though).

My notes are rarely of a sensitive nature (as my talk about encryption may have led you to believe). They are mostly about late ancient and medieval ethics and anthropology. Really really important stuff, of course, and I would actually want as many as possible to be in on it -- but thinking human beings, that is.

So let's instead say that this is a matter of principle.

The basic principle is this: If I pay for a service from a service provider who boasts privacy, I am assuming that the service provider will not delegate this service, or parts of this service, to a third party whose business model is based on mining my data for profit -- and I assume any data produced in the course of my using the service stays with me and the provider.

Like you say, outside "replay sessions", analytics mostly records dates and url's connected to user. But these are not very helpful to Evernote themselves, so I am assuming they want more fine-grained data. Which explains their cooperating with service providers which can provide such more fine-grained data:

Quote from Oliver_ENf2013's post:

"Recently a study from Princeton analysed what is called session replay. Oversimplified, it is a third party company acting as man in the middle between your PC and the website you are visiting, which then tracks and stores every mouseclick and keystroke to help the site owner analyse their website.
In order to do this, everything you type is not only stored at the website (like for example Evernote), but also on the servers of the analytics company."

Evernote uses or used Malta-based hotjar, which records sessions. Which means potentially every key-press and mouse-movement is stored. Per their own statement on their website, hotjar honors the "Do not track" setting in browsers (which, famously, Google ignores and has always ignored). This is good news, of course, assuming hotjar is a honest and trustworthy outfit. Er, anyone know these people? ... 

At Google Keep I am knowingly paying for the service with my data.

I thought Evernote provided an alternative in this regard. It seems I was wrong.

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i believe HotJar is only used on the evernote.com website and not on the service at all. Happy to be proven wrong if you can find any trace once you are logged in though.

Google Analytics is pretty ubiquitous, I'd be more surprised if you can find many sites or services that don't have it running.

I believe that Tealium data is only available to the paying customer (Evernote) and not back to Tealium or anyone else - again, happy to be proven wrong if you can point me to any evidence.

So, although I understand your principle, it feels to me like your concerns may be a little exaggerated in this case. However, in a world of consumer choice, if you are not happy then finding a solution that better meets your needs and concerns is completely open to you.

 

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