Privacy

Evernote update lets employees read your notes

File photo.

File photo.  (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel)

Evernote is updating its Privacy Policy to authorize employee access to users' saved scribblings.

Effective Jan. 23, the new rules allow "some" workers to "exercise oversight of machine learning technologies applied to account content … for the purposes of developing and improving the Evernote service."

In other words, start encrypting your records now.

"This is primarily to make sure that our machine learning technologies are working correctly, in order to surface the most relevant content and features to you," an Evernote announcement said. "While our computer systems do a pretty good job, sometimes a limited amount of human review is simply unavoidable in order to make sure everything is working exactly as it should."

The list of employees with access to user data is kept "as small as possible." But wary customers can take measures to protect themselves, and their notes, from prying eyes.

Desktop users on Windows or Mac can encrypt any text inside an annotation, hiding its contents from anyone (including Evernote) without a password. Business and recreational consumers, meanwhile, may also opt out of machine learning technologies via account settings > "Allow Evernote to use my data to improve my experience."

"If you do opt out, however, you may not be able to get the most out of your Evernote experience," the company warned. "And please note that you cannot opt out of employees looking at your content for other reasons stated in our Privacy Policy (under the section 'Does Evernote Share My Personal Information or Content?')."

These changes come only months after Evernote burned users by altering its plans and pricing, forcing folks to pay a lot more for the note-taking service, or find an alternative.

Over the summer, Evernote jacked the price on its highest product tier by about 55 percent, and gutted what's included in the lower categories—including the free offering.

Evernote Plus monthly subscription costs rose $1 to $3.99, or $34.99 per year, while Premium now costs $7.99 per month, up from $5.99. A Plus or Premium account is required for users who want to sync their notes across more than two computers, tablets, and smartphones. And while the Basic level remains free, it loses caps uploads at just 60MB per month.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.