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benmc

Evernote’s future is in the cloud

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With our announcement this morning I wanted to introduce myself to the community. I’m Ben McCormack and I lead Evernote’s operations team, the people who make sure Evernote is optimally running on all cylinders. We are also the team within Evernote leading our move onto the Google Cloud platform.

 

We hope our blog post and FAQ answers most questions. I am also joined here by Rich Tener who heads up the Evernote security team. We can cover any further questions you have.

 

We are excited to be able to announce our move to cloud and to be working with the Google team to make it a huge success. We are also very aware that you all use Evernote as an extension of your minds.

Throughout our evaluation and decision making process we have kept our Three Laws of Data Protection front and centre (https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2014/06/03/evernotes-three-laws-data-protection-update/)  

  • Your Data is Yours

  • Your Data is Protected

  • Your Data is Portable

Our move to the Google Cloud platform does not change or alter our commitment to these laws.


Again, please take a moment to read the FAQ and blog post, and let us know what you think.

Ben

 
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If you're new to our forums and would like to join the discussion with Ben, click "Sign In" at the top right, enter your Evernote account info, select a Display Name and you're all set. Welcome to our community! 

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22 minutes ago, JoshSchaidt said:

It seems like taking advantage of machine learning technologies no longer makes my content "mine" exclusively. It now seems like my data is now "ours." Not really thrilled about that. 

Hi @JoshSchaidt, your data is still yours. When we use Google's Cloud features like machine learning to help you find notes more easily, that doesn't change. Google is subject to strict security and legal obligations which limit what Google can do with you data. Google will not process data for any purpose other than to fulfill our contractual obligations.

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This change is long overdue.  I've always been surprised that Evernote ran their own servers.  Fingers crossed that the transition is as smooth as you've planned and that this allows you to grow into the company you want to be in a more cost effective manner.

 

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On 9/9/2016 at 11:58 AM, benmc said:

our move onto the Google Cloud platform

Does this also mean there will be a new API that's more accessible both to time-constrained/hobbyist developers and to more programming languages and platforms (since it won't rely on the Thrift compilation process)? Thanks,

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1 minute ago, rlobrecht said:

This change is long overdue.  I've always been surprised that Evernote ran their own servers.  Fingers crossed that the transition is as smooth as you've planned and that this allows you to grow into the company you want to be in a more cost effective manner.

 

Our focus is on making the transition as seamless as possible. We don't want our users impacted negatively by this migration.

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14 minutes ago, Rich Tener said:

Hi @JoshSchaidt, your data is still yours. When we use Google's Cloud features like machine learning to help you find notes more easily, that doesn't change. Google is subject to strict security and legal obligations which limit what Google can do with you data. Google will not process data for any purpose other than to fulfill our contractual obligations.

You are daydreaming. Google mines every byte of information on its servers that isn't super-encrypted, and I'm not sure it can't--and does-- crack even those. That is their entire business model. Your ownership and control of your servers is what made our data secure and private. You have jacked up your prices, in order to hand over our data to the Behemoth. Congrats on watching your customer base shrink--again. 

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8 minutes ago, kannprice said:

You are daydreaming. Google mines every byte of information on its servers that isn't super-encrypted, and I'm not sure it can't--and does-- crack even those.

 

 

Those things are really said seriously? Do you really believe that a company like Google would break the law and the trust of their CUSTOMERS just to mine data.

 

The part about breaking encryption surely must be a bad joke

 

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34 minutes ago, kannprice said:

You are daydreaming. Google mines every byte of information on its servers that isn't super-encrypted, and I'm not sure it can't--and does-- crack even those. That is their entire business model. Your ownership and control of your servers is what made our data secure and private. You have jacked up your prices, in order to hand over our data to the Behemoth. Congrats on watching your customer base shrink--again. 

That's complete nonsense. Google is run as a business, not a backstreet hacking club. 

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I am sad to hear this, and sorry to see it happening.

Of course there will be many users who are not bothered by this, but I unfortunately do not believe this is the right way to go for me and how I planned to integrate Evernote into my Business. I try my best to keep out of Google's reach as like other posters have said, I do not trust them. I also think this is potentially good for Evernote's technical growth but there also maybe a financial benefit to them doing this too. But, Evernote are a business and are here to make profit too, it is their decision to follow their strategies. We as users get to choose if we follow.

I believe that Evernote expect fall out from this announcement, and I for one will start to fall out by looking at alternative options and changing my workflow accordingly. It is a shame because I have only really started testing out the capabilities of Evernote and I really like what I've experienced so far and I've not even scratched the service.

I am not hating or trolling on Evernote with this post, it is just a personal choice based on how I feel I want to work.

Sorry Evernote, it's jus the wrong move for me.

 

 

 

 

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I love Google. When Evernote's price increase was announced, I tried to move everything to Google, but soon realized why I need both. Google information can be hard to find. On Evernote, I know it will be where I placed it. I hope you won't adopt the Google search method of organization. The photo I want might be on another account, or it might still be in Picasa (which I loved), or I have no idea what year it's from. Google's other bad habit is making guinea pigs of us, and just when we get things the way we want them, they announce that feature will soon be going away, or there's a new, improved version, which might be worse. Evernote is a stable alternative and I hope it will stay that way.

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53 minutes ago, schultzter said:

Does this also mean there will be a new API that's more accessible both to time-constrained/hobbyist developers and to more programming languages and platforms (since it won't rely on the Thrift compilation process)? Thanks,

As part of the migration we are not planning to make any changes to our APIs. 

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52 minutes ago, Andreas said:

That's complete nonsense. Google is run as a business, not a backstreet hacking club. 

I'm with Andreas. Google is struggling hard with AWS and Azure for every customer, especially if it's a quite big and prestigious like Evernote. They invest a lot and would loose all by violating their contractual obligations. Even the combined data of the EN-community is not worth it for Google to risk the trust of their business clientele. Just my two cents.

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Does this mean increase of storage capacity on Evernote platform moving forward. Do you plan to increase it? Especially in the case of paying customers. Its nice you are making all these changes, but I still don't see much benefits for the end user. Can we expect more storage capacity increase without the clunky and awkward Google Drive sync and also can we expect a two way hassle free sync with the Google Calendar now that Sunrise is shutting down and your are partnering with Google? I would like end users benefits and not simply what benefits the corporations. Google Drive sync for example is far from ideal solution and its a way for Google to sneak in the back door by tempting more users to use more of its storage cloud offerings. I don't want that. I want Evernote to offer more storage directly. Can we expect that. You said that switching to Google Cloud it will be easier to scale and maintain it, so can we expect more storage as well for users? Since you have limited the free users and charged more for the rest of us, at least you can provide some real value in return. Any answer to any of this? Thank you. 

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So, just to be clear. When/if you use Google to process my information (assumedly for some benefit to me) there is no retention of that data by Google, no use of that information to train algorithms, no use of that information by Google/Evernote to target marketing, no linking of that data to my separate Google account?

Thanks, Steve. 

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7 minutes ago, SteveLeighton said:

So, just to be clear. When/if you use Google to process my information (assumedly for some benefit to me) there is no retention of that data by Google, no use of that information to train algorithms, no use of that information by Google/Evernote to target marketing, no linking of that data to my separate Google account?

Thanks, Steve. 

Steve - That is correct. The only use of Evernote data by Google is to provide the Cloud services we request and NOT for targeted marketing etc

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8 minutes ago, SteveLeighton said:

So, just to be clear. When/if you use Google to process my information (assumedly for some benefit to me) there is no retention of that data by Google, no use of that information to train algorithms, no use of that information by Google/Evernote to target marketing, no linking of that data to my separate Google account?

Thanks, Steve. 

+1 I would like to know that as well. 

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13 minutes ago, Krunoslav said:

Does this mean increase of storage capacity on Evernote platform moving forward. Do you plan to increase it? Especially in the case of paying customers. Its nice you are making all these changes, but I still don't see much benefits for the end user. Can we expect more storage capacity increase without the clunky and awkward Google Drive sync and also can we expect a two way hassle free sync with the Google Calendar now that Sunrise is shutting down and your are partnering with Google? I would like end users benefits and not simply what benefits the corporations. Google Drive sync for example is far from ideal solution and its a way for Google to sneak in the back door by tempting more users to use more of its storage cloud offerings. I don't want that. I want Evernote to offer more storage directly. Can we expect that. Since you have limited the free users and charged more for the rest of us, at least you can provide some real value in return. Any answer to any of this? Thank you. 

 

There are no application or functionally changes (including storage limits) as a result of our move into Google Cloud. While there are no new features being announced this is a foundational change that we believe sets the stage for a very strong future and faster release of end user features.

Hope this clarifies?

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On 2016-09-09 at 8:58 AM, benmc said:

 

With our announcement this morning I wanted to introduce myself to the community. I’m Ben McCormack and I lead Evernote’s operations team, the people who make sure Evernote is optimally running on all cylinders. We are also the team within Evernote leading our move onto the Google Cloud platform.

 

Thanks for posting and keeping us informed.
I look forward to the potential offered by the new back-end environment
Like other posts, the mention of Google gave me a start, but I trust that Evernote has done due diligence and our data is secure

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1 minute ago, benmc said:

 

There are no application or functionally changes (including storage limits) as a result of our move into Google Cloud. While there are no new features being announced this is a foundational change that we believe sets the stage for a very strong future and faster release of end user features.

Hope this clarifies?

Thanks. It does clarify but does not make me happy as a paying users I have to be honest. Clearly this is something that benefits the Evernote and Google but I still don't see strong benefit to myself or any other end user. Perhaps that is something you and Google can work on and we can see some real improvements on our side. I'm not thrilled with the speed of innovation or feature implementations on the user side. I'm sure you can understand my point of view. 

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This is amazing news. I have few questions:

  1. Since you are using the Google servers, will you also integrate Google offerings like Maps, Calendar, Gmail etc. This integration in addition to the current Google Drive integration will be fascinating.
  2. Another question is will you be able to use Google search within your notes while scribing helping us in research etc?
  3. Can Evernote eventually with the help of Google AI be my true digital brain aka assistant?

Thanks, Tenny

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16 minutes ago, benmc said:

Steve - That is correct. The only use of Evernote data by Google is to provide the Cloud services we request and NOT for targeted marketing etc

Thanks, that helps.

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Just now, Tenny said:

This is amazing news. I have few questions:

  1. Since you are using the Google servers, will you also integrate Google offerings like Maps, Calendar, Gmail etc. This integration in addition to the current Google Drive integration will be fascinating.
  2. Another question is will you be able to use Google search within your notes while scribing helping us in research etc?
  3. Can Evernote eventually with the help of Google AI be my true digital brain aka assistant?

Thanks, Tenny

We appreciate the positive feedback, we are super excited about the future working with the Google Cloud platform.

This announcement does not mean we are enabling integrations with the Google products such as Calendar and Google search but we are always evaluating how we can make our users lives easier by enabling such integrations.

On the subject of becoming your Digital Brain, this is completely our view of the future and we hope having access to great AI/Machine Learning features helps us work towards that vision.

Ben

 

 

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Ugh. I've worked very hard to get all Google technology off my devices. I'd hate to do that with Evernote, too, having been a premium member for years and with about 1800 notes. I hope this isn't a "done deal."

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This is funny......... just when I have migrated all my notes to Google Drive using cloudHQ to see if that could be an alternative you make this announcement :P 

Can't say I'm excited over this change. I would have been if it had meant a price decrease of Evernote's services. But obviously this move was not made to be more cost effective considering the recent price changes and syncing limits. So right all this excitement from Evernote's side is meaningless to me personally.

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1 hour ago, Andreas said:

That's complete nonsense. Google is run as a business, not a backstreet hacking club. 

How do they run the rest of their business? One should examine that before painting them so lilly white DATA MINING is their main business!! That may not always be a bad thing but they mine your data, your tastes your buying patterns and SELL it. They don't make money from the Chrome browser but DO off the data it captures

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57 minutes ago, Krunoslav said:

Does this mean increase of storage capacity on Evernote platform moving forward. Do you plan to increase it?

My take on this, based on the experiences of other customers (I'm not even close, myself), that it's the clients that are the problem with large note databases. They bogged down way before they got to the size limits of their accounts. So I feel that If the clients' performance improves, only then would account limit increases be worthwhile.

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40 minutes ago, RMansfield said:

Ugh. I've worked very hard to get all Google technology off my devices. I'd hate to do that with Evernote, too, having been a premium member for years and with about 1800 notes. I hope this isn't a "done deal."

 
We would hate to lose you as a user and would like to understand what's driving your decision?
 
We are fully committed to our Three Laws of Data Protection and our decision to move to the Google Cloud platform does not change that commitment.

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Just now, benmc said:
 
We would hate to loose you as a user and would like to understand what's driving your decision?
We are fully committed to our Three Laws of Data Protection and our decision to move to the Google Cloud platform does not change that commitment.

I don't care for Google using my data--even if anonymized. This is why I don't use their services. I simply don't want to be data mined. 

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6 minutes ago, Rick_G said:

How do they run the rest of their business? One should examine that before painting them so lilly white DATA MINING is their main business!! That may not always be a bad thing but they mine your data, your tastes your buying patterns and SELL it. They don't make money from the Chrome browser but DO off the data it captures

@Rick G, @RMansfield I understand your concern and we had the same concerns about how they would use our customers' data. The Cloud Platform side of their business is separate from their search and other consumer products. Google is contractually bound not to process data for any purpose other than to deliver cloud services to Evernote.

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On 9/9/2016 at 11:58 AM, benmc said:

Throughout our evaluation and decision making process we have kept our Three Laws of Data Protection front and centre (https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2014/06/03/evernotes-three-laws-data-protection-update/)  

As a matter of curiosity -- and noting the link address is postfixed by "-update" -- were the Three Laws of Data Protection updated for this?

Speaking for myself, I'll note that half of my online life is already in Google, and I doubt that this will make much of a difference. Google's main business plan is based on analyzing web traffic of many kinds, but since Evernote is paying to be hosted by Google's servers, that's a different income stream for Google as well. I'm not worried about the Google connection at all. If Evernote can get better performance on the server side for doing the things that it does -- indexing your notes, OCR, etc. -- while paying less for server maintenance & upkeep so that they can focus more on what they do best, then that is a good thing for all of us, and Evernote's future.

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14 minutes ago, RMansfield said:

I don't care for Google using my data--even if anonymized. This is why I don't use their services. I simply don't want to be data mined. 

Do you use any service with Amazon EC2 or Microsoft Azure as backend? If so, which difference there is with a service with Google Cloud Engine backend?

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2 hours ago, kannprice said:

You are daydreaming. Google mines every byte of information on its servers that isn't super-encrypted, and I'm not sure it can't--and does-- crack even those. That is their entire business model. Your ownership and control of your servers is what made our data secure and private. You have jacked up your prices, in order to hand over our data to the Behemoth. Congrats on watching your customer base shrink--again. 

I believe you're confused about Google's "free" stuff (Gmail, etc.) where data mining is what keeps the lights on. Google has a really amazing privacy record when it comes to its commercial (paid-for) services, such as Google for Work, and the Google Cloud Platform that Evernote will be using.

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11 minutes ago, jefito said:

As a matter of curiosity -- and noting the link address is postfixed by "-update" -- were the Three Laws of Data Protection updated for this?

We didn’t update our Three Laws of Data Protection for this announcement. We did update those laws in 2014 from the original post we made in 2011.

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6 minutes ago, Robert (NL) said:

I am wondering. Does Evernote do client side encryption? And do you, therefor, have a zero-knowledge architecture?

We provide you with the ability to encrypt segments of text within any given note. You can learn how to encrypt text by reviewing this article.

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3 hours ago, kannprice said:

When we use Google's Cloud features like machine learning to help you find notes more easily.

How exactly does this work?  That and I'm not having any problems finding notes at the moment....

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Just now, Rich Tener said:

We provide you with the ability to encrypt segments of text within any given note. You can learn how to encrypt text by reviewing this article.

I am already aware of that. So basically your answer to my question is "no". Any note synced to your servers is (presumably) sent over an encrypted connection but stored unencrypted. In a sense that Evernote employees (and) others would be able to read it.

I do understand that this would be necessary to be able to do full text indexing etc. but to me it is important to be clear on this one. Technically you AND Google would be able to acces our data.

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1 hour ago, benmc said:

Steve - That is correct. The only use of Evernote data by Google is to provide the Cloud services we request and NOT for targeted marketing etc

Uh, for clarity, Google doesn't really use EN data does it?  More like EN uses Google infrastructure to use EN data.

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21 minutes ago, Robert (NL) said:

So basically your answer to my question is "no". Any note synced to your servers is (presumably) sent over an encrypted connection but stored unencrypted. In a sense that Evernote employees (and) others would be able to read it.

Correct. We don’t provide you with a feature that lets you client-side encrypt all your content in a way that we can no longer read it. The only end-to-end encryption feature we offer is note text encryption. We’ve had a lot of people voice their interest in full note, notebook, and account encryption, but we don’t have any plans to support that right now.

21 minutes ago, Robert (NL) said:

Technically you AND Google would be able to acces our data.

Yes. Both Evernote and Google will have access to data that you don’t manually encrypt using our note text encryption feature.

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So.  Another 5,000+ posts beckons... ^_^.  Like everyone I was surprised at the announcement,  then a little concerned... then I remembered I've had a Google Drive account for years (As well as Amazon,  Box,  Dropbox and Onedrive) so if anyone wants to snoop my stuff they've already had more than enough time to do so. 

As folks have said - this gives Evernote two major advantages;  they don't have to build and maintain more expensive sheds to hold customer data,  and with Google providing the infrastructure,  they can concentrate on coding and delivering better products and reliability.

It's only human to be suspicious of change.  It's dumb to be afraid of it unless there are some proven problems.  Lets see what happens in October... :ph34r:

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I think using Google always puts your data at somewhat of a privacy risk. 

Honestly, I understand why the move to Google Cloud operationally, technically, and of course the connections with the current CEO, however....

Storing customer-data in the cloud unencrypted is not good practice...

or are you saying that the data is encrypted in place?

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10 minutes ago, ITMike said:

I think using Google always puts your data at somewhat of a privacy risk. 

Why?

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11 minutes ago, ITMike said:

Storing customer-data in the cloud unencrypted is not good practice...

It already is, though. They can't index your notes otherwise...

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12 minutes ago, ITMike said:

Storing customer-data in the cloud unencrypted is not good practice...

or are you saying that the data is encrypted in place?

When we move your note data to the cloud, we will be using Google’s built-in encryption-at-rest features. That means that your data will be protected in a situation where someone steals a physical server or hard drive from a Google data center.

More technically, we are using Google's server-side encryption feature with Google-managed encryption keys to encrypt all data at rest using AES-256, transparently and automatically. For more detail, you can read about Google server-side encryption here:

We will continue to protect your data in transit using Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption.

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6 hours ago, Oletros said:

 

 

Those things are really said seriously? Do you really believe that a company like Google would break the law and the trust of their CUSTOMERS just to mine data.

 

The part about breaking encryption surely must be a bad joke

 

Nope see this article and there are others: http://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/executive-insights-and-innovation/google-data-mining-changes-privacy-reform-needed/d/d-id/1251116

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5 hours ago, benmc said:

This announcement does not mean we are enabling integrations with the Google products such as Calendar and Google search but we are always evaluating how we can make our users lives easier by enabling such integrations.

I'm one of those who are not crazy about Evernote using Google services. I gather from posts in this thread that Google is content to make money from Evernote's fees for its cloud services, rather than mining our Evernote data and selling it. Frankly, since Google clearly decided long since that "Don't be evil" was one word too long to be an efficient business model, I'm only moderately convinced of this.

But, though I use Google Calendar, and use Cronofy to connect it with Evernote, I don't AT ALL like the idea of having my Evernote data be directly accessible to Google Search, Calendar, or anything else. Please, kindly include that in your evaluations. I trust that Evernote wants my data to be mine. I do not trust Google to do that in any reliable way.

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4 hours ago, Rich Tener said:

Yes. Both Evernote and Google will have access to data that you don’t manually encrypt using our note text encryption feature.

Rich, please expand on this statement.  I think it is too vague and may lead to misunderstanding.  How exactly will Google have access to EN user data.  So far the data is on their storage, encrypted with their keys, so i get in theory they can just take it all (though I doubt they would).  The devil is in the details of who has access to the services, the data at rest, and access to those keys.  

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14 hours ago, Rich Tener said:

When we use Google's Cloud features like machine learning to help you find notes more easily, that doesn't change.

You will use Google's techniques to search data. That means Google has access to my data. History has learned that somewhere in the future you will learn that Google has done something with it you won't like. And they will say it was to "improve the user experience". Yeah right.

EN isn't only using it for storage.

I'm not going to wait for the day on which Google is announcing that it has acquired EN and EN will say that it will "improve the user experience".

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16 hours ago, Marc_ said:

You or Google may say that, but there's a huge trust issue when Google is involved. I won't be surprised if a few years from know we will learn that Google "by mistake" made some "errors" and used it for some purposes anyway.

We're not talking about just some data. We're talking about, at least for me, quite sensitive data. I don't trust Google. Never will. Therefore I will migrate to something else.

Very bad news.

Goodbye Evernote

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16 hours ago, rlobrecht said:

This change is long overdue.  I've always been surprised that Evernote ran their own servers.  Fingers crossed that the transition is as smooth as you've planned and that this allows you to grow into the company you want to be in a more cost effective manner.

 

This post is liked by .... evernote employees ... 

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3 minutes ago, gazumped said:

One interesting thing about this is that Evernote has chosen a service provided by the same company that provides a competitor (of sorts) in Evernote's space (distributed notekeeping), Keep. The low cost was almost certainly a factor, but they must have looked long and hard about Google's access to Evernote data.

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8 minutes ago, jefito said:

One interesting thing about this is that Evernote has chosen a service provided by the same company that provides a competitor (of sorts) in Evernote's space (distributed notekeeping), Keep. The low cost was almost certainly a factor, but they must have looked long and hard about Google's access to Evernote data.

The alternative would have been Microsoft with their Azure and OneNote offerings. 

 

I wonder why they did not choose Amazon over companies with a competitive product. :)

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7 hours ago, Marc_ said:

I'm not going to wait for the day on which Google is announcing that it has acquired EN and EN will say that it will "improve the user experience".

There are so many scenario's that may happen - it could be Google, or some other company
For me, I'm prepared to wait

>>I don't trust Google. Never will. Therefore I will migrate to something else.

There were alternative choices for storage providers - would any of them be acceptable?

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19 hours ago, benmc said:

we are not planning to make any changes to our APIs

Bummer. I was hoping all the time saved by using a hosted platform would give you time to work on your APIs.

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https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/13/evernote/

Quote

“Google doesn’t get access to the users’ content to make any assumptions or provide any ads,” Kundu said. “Google Cloud Platform is a separate business unit and not interested in monetizing that content. We have no intention of using ads. Our user data is private to them and we protect that in the highest possible way.”

I'm surprised by the sheer number of ignorant comments on this thread - based on a lack of... research. 

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To elaborate on Frank.dg's post: I understand this won't satisfy those who don't trust Google at all, but as he highlights, Google Cloud Services (GCS) is a completely separate business unit from Google, just as Amazon Web Services is a separate unit from Amazon.com.  For those interested in GCS' data policies, see the "Data Usage" section of their Security page.

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But Google is not to trust. they scan data as lot as possible. i am really angry about that fact. i trusted evernote but never google. 

i think its time to go away. and i am long time premium user. its really a great mistake evernote does. why ?

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28 minutes ago, aobs said:

But Google is not to trust. they scan data as lot as possible. i am really angry about that fact.

Is there any possibility of you listening to the facts?

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For me its less about Google and more about the scanning of my data with whomever's tools to make it "easier" for me.  Didn't really care about context when it came out.  

Not exactly what I personally expect from EN.  I'm more interested in storing stuff which can be synced on multiple platforms each of which has a powerful client to get at the stuff.  Not interested in linking my stuff with the outside world or having someone/thing scan it for me.  An opt out of this sort of "help" would be nice.  Call me a Luddite if you like....:(

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20 hours ago, Rich Tener said:

@Rick G, @RMansfield I understand your concern and we had the same concerns about how they would use our customers' data. The Cloud Platform side of their business is separate from their search and other consumer products. Google is contractually bound not to process data for any purpose other than to deliver cloud services to Evernote.

I stand corrected. Obviously, though, I'm not alone in my concerns as evidenced by so many other posts here. I trust Evernote, but I don't trust Google. I believe going forward you will have to overtly let customers know that Google is not datamining the content in their notes. 

I'm not jumping the Evernote ship yet, but I'm not wild about the use of Google's servers.

Incidentally, as an experiment, I imported 1500+ notes from Evernote into Apple's Notes app last night. Every note was imported individually with no notebook structure. What a mess. I've already deleted that. 

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34 minutes ago, csihilling said:

An opt out of this sort of "help" would be nice.  Call me a Luddite if you like....

I would never call you a Luddite, Cal -- you have Evernote pretty much down, to the benefit of many, many Evernote forum users. But an "opt out" would imply that Evernote keeps its back-end infrastructure, require a doubling (at least) of effort (= money) to keep the Evernote servers and the Google cloud servers going, and would entail making changes to that infrastructure a lot harder. It's just not going to happen.

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2 hours ago, Frank.dg said:

https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/13/evernote/

I'm surprised by the sheer number of ignorant comments on this thread - based on a lack of... research. 

 

1 hour ago, phils said:

To elaborate on Frank.dg's post: I understand this won't satisfy those who don't trust Google at all, but as he highlights, Google Cloud Services (GCS) is a completely separate business unit from Google, just as Amazon Web Services is a separate unit from Amazon.com.  For those interested in GCS' data policies, see the "Data Usage" section of their Security page.

 

50 minutes ago, DTLow said:

Is there any possibility of you listening to the facts?

"Ignorance" and not "listening to the facts" are not quite correct IMHO (I'll leave the general rudeness of the quoted remarks out of it). I hear and understand what Google is saying; I'm just not sure that I equate that with a permanent fact. I assume that it accurately describes their current practice, though even that is an assumption. But they do have a history of making significant changes to their services that leave users with no choice but to accept their (often intrusive) terms, or leave Google altogether. It would be very unfortunate for Evernote to find itself in that position some day.

For now, though, I'm going to wait for the transition to take place, see whether the experience is really better (just the same would be fine with me), and observe how EN uses the freed-up resources to deal with its backlog of user requests. I don't keep anything really sensitive on EN anyway, though I know many users do. But I do object vociferously to having my information used to generate advertising.

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9 hours ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

But I do object vociferously to having my information used to generate advertising.

I missed that announcement.  Now this has become a serious matter and I also object (vociferously too, but I have to look that up)
Can you provide a link where this is happening or planned?
My impression was only that Evernote was adjusting their data storage infrastructure and that Google would be the service provider

edit: this is a speculative objection

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15 hours ago, mkoehler said:

Rich, please expand on this statement.  I think it is too vague and may lead to misunderstanding.  How exactly will Google have access to EN user data.  So far the data is on their storage, encrypted with their keys, so i get in theory they can just take it all (though I doubt they would).  The devil is in the details of who has access to the services, the data at rest, and access to those keys.  

You are correct that the data is on their storage and encrypted with their keys, so technically they can access it. As our cloud provider, Google inherently has access to Evernote data. When we made the decision to move to a cloud we knew that we would be extending trust to our cloud partner. Our trust, security, and privacy reviews took this into account as we explored the scenarios where a Google employee might need to access our data. We confirmed with Google that if an employee needed to access Evernote data, it would be:

  • restricted to a minimal set of employees with a business need
  • monitored and audited to make sure that access wasn't being abused

For more information on Google’s administrative access practices, check out their security whitepaper.

Google's access to Evernote data is also subject to strict security and legal obligations and Google won’t process data for any purpose other than to deliver cloud services to Evernote.

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30 minutes ago, jefito said:

I would never call you a Luddite, Cal -- you have Evernote pretty much down, to the benefit of many, many Evernote forum users. But an "opt out" would imply that Evernote keeps its back-end infrastructure, require a doubling (at least) of effort (= money) to keep the Evernote servers and the Google cloud servers going, and would entail making changes to that infrastructure a lot harder. It's just not going to happen.

Thanks for the kind words.

IAC, I'm not saying opt out of the Google storage infrastructure, that makes sense as a non mission critical component of EN.  Just opt out of cruising my notes to find inferences, patterns, whatever, of which I am neither requesting nor needing.  I prefer the Chinese wall concept of we store and index your data but "don't look at it".  Mechanical processes without any thought per se, just creating indexes based upon grinding bytes.  Save some cycles.  ;)

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18 minutes ago, DTLow said:
22 minutes ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

But I do object vociferously to having my information used to generate advertising.

I missed that announcement.  Now this has become a serious matter.
Can you provide a link where this is happening or planned?
My impression was that Evernote was adjusting their data storage infrastructure

@DTLow, I appreciate your many helpful posts all over these forums, and I have less than zero interest in getting into another endless thread about Evernote's policies, changes, and future. So I'm going to give a basic response and be done. What I actually said was (with the most relevant part highlighted):

23 minutes ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

"Ignorance" and not "listening to the facts" are not quite correct IMHO (I'll leave the general rudeness of the quoted remarks out of it). I hear and understand what Google is saying; I'm just not sure that I equate that with a permanent fact. I assume that it accurately describes their current practice, though even that is an assumption. But they do have a history of making significant changes to their services that leave users with no choice but to accept their (often intrusive) terms, or leave Google altogether. It would be very unfortunate for Evernote to find itself in that position some day.

For now, though, I'm going to wait for the transition to take place, see whether the experience is really better (just the same would be fine with me), and observe how EN uses the freed-up resources to deal with its backlog of user requests. I don't keep anything really sensitive on EN anyway, though I know many users do. But I do object vociferously to having my information used to generate advertising.

It was that highlighted, speculative (I'll even accept paranoid), but far from impossible (based on past behavior), scenario of Google changing its TOS to which I referred WRT advertising. I thought about spelling that out a bit before I hit Submit Reply, and I wish I had. I hope all is clear now. Peace.

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19 minutes ago, DTLow said:

I missed that announcement.  Now this has become a serious matter.
Can you provide a link where this is happening or planned?
My impression was that Evernote was adjusting their data storage infrastructure

@DTLow, @Dave-in-Decatur - Our only announcement in regard to advertising was that we are committed to our Three Laws of Data Protection and Google is not allowed to use your data for their advertising purposes. Also, check out our FAQ for more information.

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3 hours ago, schultzter said:

Bummer. I was hoping all the time saved by using a hosted platform would give you time to work on your APIs.

One of our reasons to move away from running physical servers etc is to allow us to focus on things that directly benefit our end users/partners. So while there is no concrete plan to change the APIs, our move to cloud should give us that opportunity in the future.

We are also being very deliberate to change as little as possible during the migration and we wanted to be clear with everyone that there are no end-user impacting application related changes/updates being made as part of the move to Google Cloud.

Hope this clarifies?

Ben

 

 

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In the blog posting encryption at rest was mentioned. I for one have been waiting FOREVER to be able to encrypt whole notebooks on your servers. Are you telling me that this is what I'll be able to do before the end of the year? If so, get my account on the first train out :-).

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This is a move that is long overdue despite it being controversial.  

Is my data safe?  There are some who have their lives in Evernote and have learned to build up trust in Evernote's handling of their information and many of those same people see Google as an advertising company bent on using "big data" to earn revenue from advertisers.  Having Google have access to their data is simply something they cannot stomach.  I sympathize, but that should in no way hold Evernote hostage.  It is likely this group is a small minority of the paying Evernote userbase and losing them will easily be outweighed by the benefits of "Going Google".  That's called segmentation and good business strategy.

Is Evernote fading away into the GoogleSphere?  Who knows.  Wouldn't surprise me.  However, if Mr. O'Neill is going to keep Evernote independent, he needs to make moves like this that help Evernote focus on their core which is exactly what this move does.  I've communicated with the operations team on various occasions and anyone can see that creating and maintaining that kind of infrastructure is a daunting task.  Even Google, Amazon and others justified doing so by the ability to make it a standalone business.  Is Evernote to get into that distraction too?  Far better to outsource what is not core and can be done effectively elsewhere in basically a commodity market.  

That still doesn't answer the question of whether Evernote will remain independent.  I'll let others be the judge, but if Evernote was a public company, I could easily see shareholders arguing for realization of far more value in sale than at current profit growth numbers.  That's probably an ongoing conversation in the company and will probably continue even if there is an IPO.  

 

 

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26 minutes ago, DineshS said:

In the blog posting encryption at rest was mentioned. I for one have been waiting FOREVER to be able to encrypt whole notebooks on your servers. Are you telling me that this is what I'll be able to do before the end of the year? If so, get my account on the first train out :-).

See this earlier post.

The answer is disappointly no.

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1 hour ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

@DTLow, I appreciate your many helpful posts all over these forums, and I have less than zero interest in getting into another endless thread about Evernote's policies, changes, and future. So I'm going to give a basic response and be done. What I actually said was (with the most relevant part highlighted):

It was that highlighted, speculative (I'll even accept paranoid), but far from impossible (based on past behavior), scenario of Google changing its TOS to which I referred WRT advertising. I thought about spelling that out a bit before I hit Submit Reply, and I wish I had. I hope all is clear now. Peace.

 

The changes that Google has done in the past in their PAID services is to stop data mining and to ensure that their PAID customers trust them

The easiest way to loose PAID customers is breaking this

 

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1 hour ago, benmc said:

We are also being very deliberate to change as little as possible during the migration and we wanted to be clear with everyone that there are no end-user impacting application related changes/updates being made as part of the move to Google Cloud.

This makes endless sense. :) 

Decrease churn while performing mission-critical operations like moving to an entirely new back-end. Since all of the Evernote clients depend on the Evernote API (as far as I understand), changing the API at the same time would be a rather large source of churn...

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1 hour ago, jefito said:

This makes endless sense. :) 

Decrease churn while performing mission-critical operations like moving to an entirely new back-end. Since all of the Evernote clients depend on the Evernote API (as far as I understand), changing the API at the same time would be a rather large source of churn...

Yep - We have been looking at the migration options and really did not like a longer protracted migration where we are constantly wondering what broke, the migration or the latest release. We have chosen to focus the whole Operations team at Evernote on swiftly and seamlessly executing the migration by the end of this year. Expect to see a more technically focused blog post in a few weeks that covers how we are going to achieve this. 

Ben

 

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are users ignorant luddites?

i would prefer it if evernote would keep control of our data in their own servers and not outsource it to someone else's servers. i understand that some people think resistance to this decision is ignorant or something reminiscent of captain ludd's army, but i'd like to point out that it has been evernote for 8 years that has been saying their own cloud is cheaper to run (many times cheaper than leasing space on someone else's servers) and more secure (giving them direct control over our data), so even if users haven't articulated their resistance in a convincing manner, i don't think they should be dismissed. they are, after all, basically in line with evernote's position up until yesterday. and, google has made a name for itself by having rather progressive / radical ideas about privacy and the mining of our data, so i think it is a little unfair to take other users to task for being skeptical.

why move?

i would add that being independent from google and others has been part off evernote's appeal, and i imagine it has given them a lot of freedom to do things they couldn't have otherwise accomplished, which is probably one reason why dropbox has recently moved all of its stuff off of amazon's servers to build out its own infrastructure -- basically the opposite of what evernote is doing. dropbox says it is more economical. interesting that they reached exactly the opposite conclusion when they weighed their options. clearly, there is room for debate here, though amateurs like myself don't have the kind of deep technical knowledge needed to participate in it.

ceding ground to others on security?

as a user who would like to see evernote incorporate zero-knowledge encryption of data at rest (maybe just zero-knowledge notebooks) and so forth, it is disapointing to hear that none of this is going to happen, none of this is planned, and now another company's employees have access to my data as well. i have nothing against google, in particular. in fact, i think the company is quite amazing, and i imagine that teaming up with them will also open up many possibilities for evernote's future. but, it is kind of the opposite of what i want to see as a user who values security, privacy, and having his data located somewhere entirely separate from "big data." then again, i am here because of evernote's original vision (your external, personal brain) and not the new one that involves translation or other features i value far less than stuff like privacy and security (better encryption options). it's too bad to see evernote make these decisions and cede ground to others in terms of security, but it's not surprising, because evernote has been pretty clear over the years that it isn't interested in the vision i've been trying to push them to adopt.

not necessarily good for me, but good for evernote?

things change. maybe evernote re-evaluated its position and discovered that it was now more economical and more secure to do this. and, given their excitement about the features they mentioned, and their clear decision (thank you for letting us know where you stand) not to pursue things such as zero-knowledge encryption of data at rest (for example), the move to google makes a lot of sense. i agree that the data will be relatively more secure, compared to the current evernote server and app situation, though not so much if you compare it to something like microsoft's onenote, which has more robust encryption and is located on server's microsoft controls. given evernote's priorities, which often don't align with mine, the move could well be a wonderful decision for evernote and the start of a whole new chapter in its existence. so, while i don't necessarily welcome the decision, i do appreciate them taking our concerns seriously, explaining it clearly in the blog post, and coming here to field questions. it's clear to me, at least, that they think this is the best way forward for the company and its users -- i am glad to see them passionate and invested in evernote's future.

as for me, i'll have to give it more of a think. 

 

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As a long time Evernote user, subscriber and now ECC I was hoping to find a lively discussion on this topic. Certainly not disappointed but perhaps a little surprised to see that of the 200 million users Evernote has, it's a tiny percentage we see hear voicing their opinions on this move. That alone should motivate Evernote on their decision. 

I too have been apprehensive about this move. I've always liked that the independence of Evernote was reflected in it's business model that included operating it's own infrastructure. 

However I care most about Evernote's security and what it does with my data. All the good intentions in the world won't matter if Evernote is not a sustainable business long term.

Ultimately without going to visit the data centre and personally introducing yourself to every employee who has anything to do with your data or the hardware it is stored on, you are trusting yourself in Evernote's word that your data is secure and their 3 Laws of Data Protection are being followed. The move to Google does not change this in any way. We are still relying on Evernote to keep their word. What's important is that Evernote understands their users care about this, and that we hand over our money to Evernote because of this distinction. 

Long term, Evernote needs to improve their platform. I've been a victim first-hand of the oftentimes slow progress that has been made in the Evernote featureset and more importantly the disparity between features across Evernote on different operating systems. Evernote needs to focus now more than ever on improving the features AND security of its offering. By their own admission this step allows this - so count me cautiously optimistic on the future Evernote.

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As I understand it, Evernote will be using Google's deep learning/machine learning APIs, among other things. Rich, can you comment further on this aspect and whether it will be possible to opt out from such features? 

Quote

Google will also give Evernote access to some of the same deep-learning technologies that power services like translation, photo management, and voice search. We look forward to taking advantage of these technologies to help you more easily connect your ideas, search for information in Evernote, and find the right note at the moment you need it. (from Evernote's Future is in the Cloud)

 

I share Cal's position, which he describes very clearly (emphasis mine):

10 hours ago, csihilling said:

IAC, I'm not saying opt out of the Google storage infrastructure, that makes sense as a non mission critical component of EN.  Just opt out of cruising my notes to find inferences, patterns, whatever, of which I am neither requesting nor needing.  I prefer the Chinese wall concept of we store and index your data but "don't look at it".  Mechanical processes without any thought per se, just creating indexes based upon grinding bytes.  Save some cycles.  ;)

 

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That's bad new for me, just when I thought Evernote was doing well and I decided to remain as a premium member in spite of higher fees.

i don't care what anyone says, GOOGLE CANNOT BE TRUSTED, I'm not too fond of Apple either, but they DO take security seriously and won't bow even to the US gov.

Just search "google breaches privacy" but don't google it, use Duckduckgo, they won't track you, Brave browser is also recommended.

It's not hard to see why Google are untrustworthy.

i too avoid Google as much as possible, now Evernote wants to place my personal life in Googles hands???? No way, this is where I get off.

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Two thoughts:

  1. Much is made of Evernote’s Three Laws of Data Protection; but saying that "your data is yours" and "your data is protected" is not the same as saying that "your data will not be exploited". The statement that We are not a “big data” company and do not try to make money from your content may need to be qualified with However, a "big data" company provides our infrastructure, and may exploit your data for its purposes.
  2. With 200 million users, a competing application in Google Keep, and now migration to Google Cloud, I wonder how long it will be before Google snaps up Evernote altogether.
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2 hours ago, tassiecelt said:

That's bad new for me, just when I thought Evernote was doing well and I decided to remain as a premium member in spite of higher fees.

i don't care what anyone says, GOOGLE CANNOT BE TRUSTED, I'm not too fond of Apple either, but they DO take security seriously and won't bow even to the US gov.

Just search "google breaches privacy" but don't google it, use Duckduckgo, they won't track you, Brave browser is also recommended.

It's not hard to see why Google are untrustworthy.

i too avoid Google as much as possible, now Evernote wants to place my personal life in Googles hands???? No way, this is where I get off.

i think it is worth making a distinction here between an "evil" entity and one that is not managed the way you would like, because i don't see anything "evil" happening over there, and i think google takes its security very seriously. in fact, i'd say they ought to be commended for how forward thinking they have been, and how quick they have been to institute better and better security. before evernote had two-step verification, google had its authenticator, for example. and, it was this technology that made ever note's transition to a two-factor system so smooth (as i understand it from the outside looking in). google has been pushing the envelope, evernote has been making use of its technology for a while, and we have all benefitted. 

but, google also has policies that i don't like, and i am not especially interested in supporting their vision of the future (at least, to the degree that i understand it). as much as i appreciate apple's recent strengthening of security (in various aspects), i am also not a fan of their data mining proposals (now they say they can do the anonymizing of data collection better than anyone else -- but, it is a data mining project, even if you use the 1984-esque "differential privacy" name). so, i don't agree with their policies, and i don't like the idea of handing over even more of my data for them to mine, but neither of them seem evil -- just unappealing. i had hoped to see evernote be an alternative to the visions they've put out there, but that potential future looks like it is gone now (if it was ever a serious possibility anyhow). 

 

4 hours ago, MWinc said:

As a long time Evernote user, subscriber and now ECC I was hoping to find a lively discussion on this topic. Certainly not disappointed but perhaps a little surprised to see that of the 200 million users Evernote has, it's a tiny percentage we see hear voicing their opinions on this move. That alone should motivate Evernote on their decision. 

I too have been apprehensive about this move. I've always liked that the independence of Evernote was reflected in it's business model that included operating it's own infrastructure. 

However I care most about Evernote's security and what it does with my data. All the good intentions in the world won't matter if Evernote is not a sustainable business long term.

Ultimately without going to visit the data centre and personally introducing yourself to every employee who has anything to do with your data or the hardware it is stored on, you are trusting yourself in Evernote's word that your data is secure and their 3 Laws of Data Protection are being followed. The move to Google does not change this in any way. We are still relying on Evernote to keep their word. What's important is that Evernote understands their users care about this, and that we hand over our money to Evernote because of this distinction. 

Long term, Evernote needs to improve their platform. I've been a victim first-hand of the oftentimes slow progress that has been made in the Evernote featureset and more importantly the disparity between features across Evernote on different operating systems. Evernote needs to focus now more than ever on improving the features AND security of its offering. By their own admission this step allows this - so count me cautiously optimistic on the future Evernote.

personally, i don't think the servers were stopping evernote from fixing the bullets in the editor :) or, one of the reasons why they can't seem to get more feature parity (it doesn't help that they have removed existing features from different platforms rather than adding them). but, that is all speculation about what is going on in the back rooms, and how things are / aren't getting done. they say they can do more, so i will take them at their word, but their "more" and "better" so far is not what i want to see. what we have here is a fundamental shift away from being an independent "service" or data platform, to an "app" that leases space on someone's server, not all that different from what thousands of other apps do. it might well result in improvements. at the very least, it seems that evernote has a plan, and that says something for the long-term prospects. 

yes, the trust issue is there now, and it will be there in the future, but it wouldn't be if evernote adopted a zero-knowledge encryption policy (they have explicitly rejected it in this thread). then, except in some pretty extreme and relatively unlikely scenarios, no one would have unauthorized access to your data. i believe some of the current capabilities would remain. i know of at least one competitor that supports workflows with zero-knowledge encryption and still has search indexes along with artificial intelligence features superior to what evernote has in some respects -- but other ones that rely on collecting a lot of data and using it to improve the product (the potential for voice comes to mind) will be difficult or impossible to achieve without access to our data. that's data mining, in my book. it's something that evernote has done before in-house (i've never been happy about that and i suspect that is one reason we never got much progress on encryption), but i don't think i want to see two companies (or more) mucking around with my data (aggregated, anonymized, or whatever). 

true. if you use google's search engine, exchange emails with friends who have google accounts, pull up something on google maps, or do any number of everyday activities, you're already quite well-represented inside google's servers already. i'm not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill here, but i was putting stuff in evernote that i wouldn't have emailed or let out into the internet in other contexts. it's nothing terribly sensitive (i avoid putting anything like that unencrypted onto the cloud  http://www.christopher-mayo.com/?p=1605). but, it is stuff i didn't plan to give to any google entity (no matter how much google apparently separates out its cloud service and says the two will never mix). i'm still mulling over what this means for me.

1 hour ago, Enertse said:

Two thoughts:

  1. Much is made of Evernote’s Three Laws of Data Protection; but saying that "your data is yours" and "your data is protected" is not the same as saying that "your data will not be exploited". The statement that We are not a “big data” company and do not try to make money from your content may need to be qualified with However, a "big data" company provides our infrastructure, and may exploit your data for its purposes.
  2. With 200 million users, a competing application in Google Keep, and now migration to Google Cloud, I wonder how long it will be before Google snaps up Evernote altogether.

1. google has gone to great lengths (certifications and so forth) to ensure that it is seen as carefully handing the data in a responsible, secure way that doesn't get mixed in with other stuff. i think we just have to trust them (and evernote) on this one. there is zero-knowledge encryption (as i mentioned above) but neither company is willing to use that. 

2. maybe. maybe not. it's hard to know. but, at this point, what is the difference between google keep and evernote? the interface, i guess, because they might be housed next door to one another on the same servers. i think evernote risks losing a significant way to distinguish themselves from others, something that really could have been done to great effect if they had taken the lead on security (kind of like apple, but more like spideroak) and staked out space as the most reliable, ubiquitous, and secure personal information manager out there. now? i don't know. i guess that is for them to know and us to find out.

at any rate, it is a done deal. now, it's up to us to figure out if we want to continue turning the pages to see what happens next, or put the book down and start another one. maybe the next chapter is when things get really exciting :) 

 

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1 hour ago, Enertse said:

Much is made of Evernote’s Three Laws of Data Protection; but saying that "your data is yours" and "your data is protected" is not the same as saying that "your data will not be exploited". The statement that We are not a “big data” company and do not try to make money from your content may need to be qualified with However, a "big data" company provides our infrastructure, and may exploit your data for its purposes

You might want to read the full TOS description at https://evernote.com/legal/tos.php/
It provides more detail on this

 

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1 minute ago, DTLow said:

You might want to read the full TOS description at https://evernote.com/legal/tos.php/

 

Why? In regards to data mining, it only says "We pledge to you that we will not engage in any data mining of your Content in order to target advertising at you." That seems to leave a lot of other purposes for data mining wide open. It's nothing nefarious. Lots of companies have similar wording. But, I'd prefer to see them say something to the effect that "we do not engage in any data mining of your Content." I could do without voice stuff in exchange for stronger security :) 

Evernote says: "Google will not process data for any purpose other than to fulfill our contractual obligations." But, we cannot see the contract. So, I am not exactly sure what that means. Again, nothing nefarious, but it seems to leave a lot of room open for something like aggregating our data ("anonymously") and allowing Google to use it for stuff like voice feature improvements.

At any rate, they left the door open for lots of collaboration with "We are not releasing any new integrations between Evernote and Google at this time." Again, nothing nefarious here about two companies working together to improve the product and our experience, but there is a trade-off here, I think. I am guessing that cool things don't happen if data just sits there, only to be touched by us whenever we scroll through our notes.

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I'm a longtime Evernote Lover. As a Premium user, It's part of my everyday life both professionally and personally. I trust Evernote (or use to) especially for the "your notes are yours" which is especially important and frankly not existant anywhere else on the web.

I do trust Google on their technical expertise. They rock. I don't trust them on the privacy side. I'm very, very uncomfortable knowing that they "deep learn" my notes. I don't want that, I don't need that. I'm happy as it is.

I don't want to leave Evernote. Do you consider to propose a "Google features free" account level. I would be ready to pay the same price for it. I would even be ready to pay more for the guarantee that my data never go through a Google software layer at any time.

Sorry if I don't share your enthousiasme...

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I have been with Evernote since 2008.. 9,000+ notes, Premium User.  I was willing to take the financial hit announced earlier this year, even though it was quite a price jump.  However, I like many, do not feel comfortable with any Google integration.  If I wanted Google in my business I'd use Google Keep, not Evernote.  You can say they won't mine our data, etc, but these days I have very little trust in any company, least of all Google.  I will now be looking for an alternate solution for both my personal and business needs.  It's sad that it's come to this, and in my opinion, Evernote has done nothing but go downhill since Phil Libin left as CEO.

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First the announcement of Google Drive integration, now the move to Google Cloud. Next GoogleNote? ;) 

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I didn't say Google was "evil" just that I don't trust them. They DO have a "take ever the world" mentality, they are too powerful. Etc.

I liked Evernote because it seemed to be remaining independent in many ways to the big end of town.

as others have said, this is the thin end of the wedge.

for those looking for an alternative, I have found it dead easy to bring all my notes from Evernote into Apple Notes. I have underestimated this built in re are a few features I will miss, but it's quick, simple and free.

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Just a mini-rant on "deep learning",  "artificial intelligence" and the like..  I appreciate that Evernote (& Google) always push the envelope trying to find better ways to service customers,  and the IT world - come to that most politicians and professionals - throw the concepts around as the ultimate McGuffin,  whether or not they actually understand them. 

It's a fashion;  a trend - like 'Big Data',  which was all anyone could talk about for a few months before neural networks took over.  I'd be interested* if anyone had a documented case of 'Big Data' having been implemented in a way that was significantly different from what used to be called 'common sense' and bringing actual benefits to the table.

Same applies - as far as I'm concerned - to AI.  My computer (or phone) may -technically- be smarter than me,  but it isn't me;  my decisions are based on some decades' worth of experience,  expertise,  previous bad decisions and day-to-day irritability.  So when I take a picture and my phone pops up like a frantic puppy - using my diary and previous entries for the day - and suggests 'Leeland's Birthday Party' for the business meeting I'm at,  it's not helpful.

When my satnav software (looking at you,  Google for 'Waze') tells me that I need to leave said business meeting now if I want to get to the party on time,  even though I had no intention of going,  'cause he's not my kid,  it's not helpful.  (My mistake was looking up the direction to send to someone...)

When my phone buzzes for attention to tell me there's a new Pizza deal going at the local supermarket,  although the phone was on Do Not Disturb  (yep,  still at the meeting..) it's not helpful.

So my experiences of 'AI' software making my day easier haven't been positive ones yet.  They have in every case so far taken up some time in my day while I 1) correct the current misapprehension and 2) try to find some way of avoiding it ever happening again by delving deep into the preferences of the app concerned **.

Can I suggest that as part of the ongoing search to make life 'easier' for us poor limited biological humans,  independently capable software needs to have levels of involvement running from 'excitable teenager' to STFU to allow users to limit the amount of interference into their lives by means other than acquiring a large hammer and interfacing directly with the hardware with extreme prejudice..

* on second thoughts,  nah - don't care.  Don't want to let facts spoil a lifetime of entrenched Luddism.  ^_^

** Oh- that's what they meant by 'deep learning'...

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14 hours ago, c_t said:

As I understand it, Evernote will be using Google's deep learning/machine learning APIs, among other things. Rich, can you comment further on this aspect and whether it will be possible to opt out from such features? 

Our overall vision is that we make use of Google Machine Learning APIs to enhance the feature set.

The ability to opt out is something we are investigating, but it is a nuanced question. There are a number of ways in which we currently process your data in order to make the Evernote service work the way you expect it to work (for example, search or text search within PDFs). Any ability to opt out would need to be balanced against the potential of such an opt out to degrade the level of service and functionality we offer and you expect.

Ben

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35 minutes ago, benmc said:

Our overall vision is that we make use of Google Machine Learning APIs to enhance the feature set.

The ability to opt out is something we are investigating, but it is a nuanced question. There are a number of ways in which we currently process your data in order to make the Evernote service work the way you expect it to work (for example, search or text search within PDFs). Any ability to opt out would need to be balanced against the potential of such an opt out to degrade the level of service and functionality we offer and you expect.

Ben

You were/are indexing PDFs, Office docs, and text pre-Google.  Are you saying Google tech will be replacing that existing functionality?  How to keep search results compatible with the desktop if that is the case?

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I've read here with interest some excellent posts on this topic. I appreciate that some have different uses for Evernote than I, since I try to keep any sensitive or personal information off Google or Evernote. They've been good tools for me, each in its own way. I've used Evernote since 2009, and Google since 2005. I have no particular suspicions of either company. What I want is for someone to justify the price increase of my premium subscription to Evernote if it's going to become more Google-like. I already pay for Google storage. I use Google Drive docs and sheets, which don't count against my storage there. I struggle with Google's many iterations of photos frequently, and Google has saved me from losing items many times, as has Evernote. I've used Google Keep since its introduction, but Google Drive is more similar to Evernote in the way I personally use it. Although others feel differently, it wouldn't bother me if Google bought Evernote, because Google has needed an organizational program like Evernote for a long time. It would bother me to have paid a year's subscription to Evernote, only to have it become Google, where my notes are mostly already backed up in storage I've already purchased. I hope someone will answer this question simply and without embellishment. I want to know what I'm going to get for my money that I don't already pay for with Google. Thanks!

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